|Treatment, Support Services, and Research:
Sources of Hope
Many of the symptoms and much of the distress associated with childhood and adolescent mental, emotional, and behavior problems may be alleviated with timely and appropriate treatment and support services.
Based on the severity and duration of symptoms, a child or adolescent in need of treatment or services and their family may need a plan of care . Optimally, this plan is developed with the family and service providers working as partners. Whenever possible, the child or adolescent is Involved in decisions. The focus of this help is to find and build upon the strengths not the difficulties of each young person and their family. The ethnic and cultural values of a family being served are understood and respected and used in the design of these systems.
Tying together all the types of support and services in a plan of care for a particular child and family is commonly referred to as a '"plan of care." A plan of care is designed to improve the child's ability to function in all areas of life at home, at school, and in the community.
Many Young People Still Need Help
An estimated two-thirds of all young people with mental health problems who need help are not getting it.
Most often, children's and adolescent's mental health problems are not recognized for what they are and appropriate help is not sought.
The stigma of mental illness keeps many people from asking for help. Stigma also causes isolation and discrimination for many young people and their families. Punishment is often incorrectly used to try to solve these problems within the home, at school, or in the juvenile justice system.
Good information about children's mental health problems is not available to many people who work with and care for children and adolescents. In addition, culturally competent and child-focused mental health services are not yet available in every community.
Raising public awareness about children's mental health issues can lead to earlier recognition of possible mental health problems. Identifying these problems when they first appear can help to keep them from getting worse later.
Finding the Right Services
To find the right services for their children, families can get accurate information from hotlines, libraries, or other sources, seek referrals from professionals, ask questions about treatments and services, talk to other families in their communities, and contact a family organization. Visit the Resources page on our website for a list of Wisconsin and National resources. There are also resources for parents geared toward specific disorders, and grouped accordingly, on our Common Disorders page.
Caring families and communities working together with service providers can help young people with mental health problems. These problems in children and adolescents can be recognized and treated. Depending on the problem a young person has, the range of services helping him or her may include:
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