Do you know what normal child/adolescent behavior is?

Where do you start if you think your child may have a mental health problem? Who do you see? What does mental health mean anyways? Depression? Anxiety? Addiction? Maybe this will help.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Jamison Consultants Behavioral Health Center has announced that they will be holding a series of free programs, open to the public, to address common mental health concerns in children/teens and screen for potential mental health problems. The Jamison Consultants created this program to help caregivers identify the early warning signs of a mental health issue, seek additional information, and get a diagnosis and effective treatment plan for a wide variety of common mental health conditions that, if left untreated, can have serious negative consequences on the lives of today’s children and teens.

“There are many children and teens in our local community who may potentially be showing the early warning signs of various mental health conditions, but whose parents and caregivers might not know what they should be looking for in terms of early symptoms that may signal a diagnosable mental health disorder,” says Stephanie Jamison-Void, CEO of Jamison Consultants. “Our goal is to help parents understand what normal child/adolescent behavior is, and what signs and symptoms may require further investigation for a possible diagnosis, so that they can get the help they need at the early stages, which is when treatment is most effective.”

This program will provide an opportunity to participate in basic screening activities via questionnaire and one-on-one discussions that may help identify potential mental health problems in children and teens. In addition, the programs will provide an important overview of some of the top early warning signs of mental illness in children and teens, what treatments/services are available for children/teens, and what parents should do if they think their child could benefit from help surrounding a wide variety of mental health conditions. The program will also allow for a question and answer session, as well as personal on-site consultation upon request.

Dates and times for the “Make May Matter: Recognizing and Treating Mental Health Problems in Your Children and Teens” programs are:

• May 5th, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Bluffton Library, 120 Palmetto Way, Bluffton

• May 12th, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Beaufort Library, 311 Scott Street, Beaufort

Statistics show that mental health problems can show up by age 14 and sadly, only 20 percent of children with mental disorders are identified and receive mental health services on an annual basis. For more information about the program or to register, call 843-757-7500.

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