The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended today that children ages 10-21 are screened annually for signs of depression. This new recommendation is the first major update to their guidelines in 10 years. Previously, the recommendation was for screenings to begin at age 12.

One in five adolescents 13-18 have or will have a serious mental illness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin at just 14. Those who are suffering may have difficulty connecting with their family and friends. They might struggle in school. They may abuse drugs or alcohol. If left undiagnosed and untreated they may suffer physical consequences including suicide. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in children and young adults ages 10-24. And 90% of those who died by suicide had some type of underlying mental illness.

Parents are concerned, and rightfully so, about their kids’ mental health. Last year Beech Acres Parenting Center surveyed over 600 Cincinnati are parents and discovered that 44% of parents identified understanding kids’ mental health issues as extremely or very concerning.

“Knowing that parents are thinking about mental health is encouraging, because parent involvement and early intervention are critical keys in treatment,” Jim Mason, Beech Acres Parenting Center President & CEO said. “We want parents to know that they can find help with these concerns from Beech Acres, where the focus is on building a team of professionals from psychiatry, counseling and child development to provide the best care.”

Parents also indicated that they were interested in receiving help in the following areas; understanding kids’ mental health issues, understanding kids’ emotional development, and building on their children’s innate strengths. Concerned parents should talk to their pediatrician, and their children, about mental health issues right now.   We can help you build resiliency in your child by helping you identify their strengths in a parent coaching session. Here you will learn about Natural Strength Parenting™ our unique, strengths-based approach to parenting.

Mental health is a serious concern and requires serious attention. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations are an important part of the solution. Beech Acres Parenting Center encourages all parents to seek help if they need it and together we will raise capable, caring, contributing children.