Resources for Helping Your Child or Teen with Mental Health or Behavioral Problems
Many additional resources for teens are described in Resources for Transition Age Youth (16-24).
• Learning to Help your Child and Your Family (https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Family-Members-and-Caregivers/Learning-to-Help-Your-Child-and-Your-Family)
• Parenting a Child with Mental Illness provides helpful advice on a range of topics, including symptoms and treatment (www.healthyplace.com/parenting/; scroll down)
• A wealth of information, advice and resources are available from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/FFF-Guide-Home.aspx ). For example, if you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, reviewing this checklist from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry can help you assess and document your child’s feelings and behavior: http://bit.ly/1VRGq
• Information about multiple behavioral concerns and disorders in children is available at https://childmind.org/topics-a-z/.
• A Resource Guide, prepared by SpeakUp!, that is organized by topics that youth feel are important to talk about with their parents is available at https://speakup.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SpeakUp2017ResourceGuide.pdf.
• Mental Health Conditions Seen in Childhood (https://nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/October-2019/Mental-Health-Conditions-Seen-in-Childhood)
• Does my child have a mental health, emotional or behavioral disorder? (www.pacer.org/cmh/does-my-child-have-an-emotional-or-behavioral-disorder/)
• Mental Health Screening for youth ages 11-17 or for parents who are concerned that their children may have a problem is available at http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/mental-health-screening-tools .
• Find resources to start a conversation with your child about their mental health via Mental Health America (http://bit.ly/learnmh).
• Mental Health Books for Children and Teens and Their Parents. www.namimainlinepa.org/mental-health-books-for-children-and-teens-and-their-parents/
• Managing Problem Behavior at Home (https://childmind.org/article/managing-problem-behavior-at-home/)
• NAMI Basics is an education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illness. This free six-session course is facilitated by trained teachers who are also parents/caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness in childhood. The course provides the fundamentals a caregiver needs for themselves, their family, and their child who is living with a mental illness. For more information, see https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-Programs/NAMI-Basics.
• Information on schooling, case management and behavioral health services in the Philadelphia metropolitan area is available at https://namimainlinepa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ChildAdolMentalHealthResourcesSeptember2013.pdf.
• How to Access Valuable Behavioral Services in PA: Consider Medical Assistance for a Child/Teen with Serious Disability: https://namimainlinepa.org/how-medical-assistance-for-a-childteen-with-a-serious-mental-illness-autism-addadhd-or-substance-abuse-can-provide-access-to-valuable-services/
Resources for Helping Children/Teens Succeed in School
- Heading back to school after the summer break can be a stressful time for children and parents. Experts at John’s Hopkins have put together Tips to Ease Back to School Anxiety at https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-tips-to-ease-backtoschool-anxiety
- NAMI National shares information on Ensuring Your Child is Supported at School at https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2018/Ensuring-Your-Child-is-Supported-at-School.
- Mental Health First Aid discusses four tools you can use to boost mental health at school at https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/2018/08/4-tools-to-boost-your-mental-health-at-school/.
- Mental Health America (MHA) offers the Back to School Toolkits, which provide resources about stress and loneliness and recognizing mental health problems in young people, tips for parents and teachers, and resources for students at http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/back-school.
- Selected highlights from MHA’s Back to School Toolkit 2022 are available at https://namimainlinepa.org/highlights-from-mental-health-americas-back-to-school-toolkit-2022/.
Resources for Helping Children/Teens Who Have a Family Member with Mental Health Problems
• Talking to Kids about Mental Illness: https://www.nami.org/Blogs/
• Online resources include: https://www.siblingsupport.org/
• Books for children and teens who have a family member who has a mental health condition are listed at: www.namimainlinepa.org/mental-health-books-for-children-and-teens-and-their-parents/
Additional Resources for Helping Teens with Mental Health Problems
• Crisis Text Line: Free, confidential 24-hour service accessible via text message to number 741-741. Statistics show that only 5% of teens are willing to call phone crisis lines, but they’re more willing to text. People can text anonymously with a crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line. Visit The New York Times website at http://nyti.ms/1MK416g for more information.
• Chester County Teen Talk Line: Free, confidential talk line for 12-18 year olds where teens can speak to someone their own age about whatever is on their minds. Call 855-852-8336 (TEEN) or Text 484-362-9515 Monday – Friday from 3 – 7 p.m. All calls received after hours will hear an automated message referring callers to Valley Creek Crisis Center (610-280-3270) for immediate assistance.
• For Suicide Prevention: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: call or text 988. How to Help Someone Who is Suicidal (https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention.htm)
• NAMI National (www.nami.org; Helpline: 800-273-TALK (8255) offers multiple resources including:
· Teens and Young Adults (including How to Help a Friend and Managing a Mental Health Condition in College; www.nami.org/Find-Support/Teens-Young-Adults)
· What Families Need to Know about Adolescent Depression, (including symptoms of teen depression, suggestions about how parents can communicate effectively with their teen and record symptoms, history, etc., to help a teen get an accurate diagnosis: http://cpancf.com/pdf/namifamilyguidedepressionadolescentsandchildren.pdf
· Your Teenager: Just Moody… Or Something More? (Teens and Anxiety; https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2015/Your-Teenager-Just-Moody-or-Something-More)
• Teen Drug Abuse provides information on symptoms, prevention and treatment (http://www.medicinenet.com/teen_drug_abuse/article.htm). Information to help individuals with substance abuse and mental illness is available at https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Dual-Diagnosis and https://www.nami.org/FAQ/Treatment-Referrals-FAQ/How-can-I-get-help-for-my-substance-abuse-issue-an.
• Mental Health First Aid provides multiple guidelines, including Communication with Adolescents (https://mhfa.com.au/resources/mental-health-first-aid-guidelines) This link appears broken but is not.
• Information about detecting and treating Early and First Episode Psychosis is available at https://namimainlinepa.org/early-and-first-episode-psychosis-what-is-it-and-how-should-it-be-treated/.
• Teen Health and Wellness lists hotlines, help lines, and information lines on topics such as alcohol and drugs, eating disorders, suicide: http://www.teenhealthandwellness.com/static/hotlines#Mentalhealth
• NAMI Main Line PA (info@NAMIMainLinePA.org) and Minding Your Mind (http://mindingyourmind.org/) provide free speakers on mental health for schools in the greater Philadelphia area. DMAX Foundation (http://www.dmaxfoundation.org/) fosters teen discussion of mental health and works to reduce stigma.
• NAMI’s Say It Out Loud program increases awareness and discussion of mental health conditions among 14-18 year olds:
· poster available at https://www.nami.org/NAMInet/Say-It-Out-Loud
· video available at https://vimeo.com/121071189
· additional resources available at http://bit.ly/1C9d2xT
(compiled by NAMI Main Line PA, https://namimainlinepa.org/, last updated February 2023)