Am I to blame for my child's depression?

Depression is a disorder of the central nervous system. Researchers do not understand all the factors influencing the development of depression, but stressors seem to play a part. Playing the blame-game, however, is not productive. Blaming tends to deflect responsibility rather than providing a resolution. The best response to depression is to be proactive, seek help and make changes to reduce stress.

What do you mean by 'treatment?'

Treatment options include any combination of counseling, medication, and/or lifestyle changes such as diet, sleep and exercise. A licensed mental health professional will help you and your child to find a treatment plan that is best for you. Whatever plan you choose, it will most likely include some family therapy, as you are the ones who work with your child on a daily basis.

What problems can be addressed?

Therapists and counselors can help with problems such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, school or learning problems, conflicts at home or work, relationship conflicts, trauma, grief and loss, substance abuse, and other stressful problems which affect individuals, couples, children or families in everyday life.

Who will be helping my child?

Mental health services are provided by specially trained and licensed professionals, who are experts in different kinds of problems and different forms of talk-therapy. These experts are usually social workers, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

Will my child have to take medication?

Many mental health problems can be resolved by talk therapy, without needing medication. This is especially true if intervention comes early in the course of the condition. Children with more serious conditions may need medication to “jump start” their recovery. In such circumstances, children do better with a combination of medication and therapy.

What is counseling/therapy?

Counselors and therapists help children understand the stressors in their lives and the way they respond to them. They can help build skills in communication, stress management, and emotional control. which will improve how their ability to function at home, school or work.

Is therapy confidential?

Under the law, the conversations of a therapist with a client are private and confidential. The only exceptions are: if you are going to harm yourself or someone else; these cannot be kept secret.

Can I afford professional help?

Help is available whether or not you have insurance coverage.

  • If you have insurance. Check your provider booklet under Behavioral Health, Psychiatry or Psychology for the names of groups or providers covered by your plan. It is often helpful to contact Customer Service to have mental health benefits explained prior to setting any appointments. Confirm co-pay amounts, if a referral is necessary, and if there are any limitations on service.
  • If you do not have insurance. Many providers and community mental health centers accept payment on a sliding scale according to income. Make sure to discuss a payment plan before receiving services.

Where can I find help?

  • Your local pediatrician, family doctor, health clinic, or school counselor are good places to start.
  • If you are still unsure about how to access help or how to find the best care, call your local Mental Health America; the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or your state or local Mental Health Services Board.

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Using videos for students and low cost materials for teachers and parents, Red Flags offers schools a comprehensive, affordable, common sense approach to basic mental health education.
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