Getting Help For Your Child Early On: Mental Health Screening in Youth

mental health screening in youth

Getting Help For Your Child Early On: Mental Health Screening in Youth

While our physical health is an important part of what keeps us functioning in our everyday lives, many people forget how substantial our mental health can be on our success. Without good mental health, we are unlikely to be able to live normal, healthy, happy lives. Most people do not have regular checkups on their mental health or even mental health screenings. According to a recent article by NPR, mental health screening in youth needs to be done early within childhood.

What Children Absorb

According to the article, the brains of youth early in age are incredibly absorbent of new information and experiences. This Rahil Briggs, who works at the Healthy Steps program at the Montefiore Comprehensive Health Care Center in South Bronx states:

“Whatever we throw, sticks. That’s why they (youth) can learn Spanish in six months when it takes us six years, but also why if they’re exposed to community violence, or domestic violence, it really sticks.”

How Young is too Young for an Assessment?

While some people think mental health screening in youth before kindergarten is too young, many child psychologists would argue otherwise. According to Briggs, the basis for good mental health in young children is seen from a baby who explores and ultimately learns, meaning they feel safe. When youth experience things such as divorce, neighborhood violence or poverty, these things can interfere with their ability or desire to learn.

As a parent, how do you know if a mental health screening in youth is right for your child? Apparently, many of the signs are right in front of us. Briggs says half of all children with mental illness show symptoms before they turn 14. Briggs also believes the best way to spot signs of mental health issues is in the pediatrician’s office.

How Mental Health Screening for Youth Programs Work

The way Briggs program for mental health screening in youth Healthy Steps works, is that Briggs will accompany a family into the pediatrician’s office—instead of provided the family with a referral which they most likely won’t follow through with, a child psychologist is in the appointment, this is something they call a warm handoff. Battles over feeding, toilet training or sleep might indicate an underlying struggle. If this is the case, Briggs sets up a plan to help families work through the potential mental health issues through a mental health screening in youth.

If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, don’t wait to get a mental health screening in youth. There are programs available that can help.

ViewPoint Center Can Help!

ViewPoint Center is a mental health hospital for teens, ages 12 to 17. At ViewPoint Center, we provide superior assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and stabilization–all in a personalized environment for your child.

For more information about how ViewPoint Center handles teen eating disorders, contact us today at 801-825-5222!


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