There’s no minimum age for experiencing a mental health condition.

Though mental health conditions are often not diagnosed until later in life, they can onset far before that time. For a breakdown of most common mental health conditions affecting youth and their accompanying signs, click here.


Adults can be a major factor in shaping a child's mental health.

A caring and consistent adult’s behavior can protect a child against experiencing poor mental health and development of severe symptoms in the long term.


A child’s mental health may be dismissed as a phase.

Beliefs that a child’s mental health or behavior is tied to their age rather than a more serious mental health problem can lead to lack of treatment and delay a young person's opportunity for recovery.

What  do I Need to Know About Youth Mental Health?


Signs a Child or Teen

May Need More Support

If you notice these signs in your young person or a young person with whom you work,

it may be time to seek treatment or additional support.

How do I Talk to a Young Person?

First, make sure you start the conversation with the right tools.

  1. Active Listening

  2. Empathy                 

  3. Non-judgment   

It’s always the right time to ask how a child is feeling. However, when a child starts behaving in ways that aren't typical for them, including sudden or harmful changes, this conversation becomes more urgent. Some of these changes include:

•  Using alcohol or drugs to get through tough experiences

•  Binging or restricting eating in response to emotions

•  Talking about death or an interest in suicide

•  Self-harm including burning, scratching, cutting, pulling hair

•  Purposely seeking out risks that put themselves in harm’s way

•  Extremely low motivation, energy, and sadness

Guidelines for a conversation around a child's mental health.


Blame a child for their behavior or pass judgment on their behavior. This conversation opens with an accusation, which is hurtful and can make a child feel like they need to defend themselves.



Make sure that the child is open to a conversation and that you are using "I' statements to communicate objective observations. Lead with curiosity by using open-ended questions.


Wellness Strategies for You

Taking care of yourself and fostering your own wellness is an essential part of caring for others. Creating a wellness practice looks unique depending on who you are and what works best for you - here are some ideas to get you started: