Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Childhood and adolescence is a vital stage of life for mental health. This is a stage when the brain grows and develops rapidly; acquire cognitive/social/emotional skills that shape their mental health and adult role in the future.

Early adverse experiences at this stage of life at home, schools, exposure to violence, bullying and other adverse experiences increase the risk of mental illness.

About 10-20% of children and adolescents’ have a mental health condition worldwide. However, most of these children and adolescents’ do not seek help or have access to help. Mental health conditions in children include depressions, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, developmental disorders, depression, anxiety and behavioral disorders.

Some symptoms of mental illness in children include:

For Young Children: Depression is a mental health condition characterized by undue sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, negative thought, disturbed sleep, poor appetite, tiredness, hopelessness and poor concentration. It is a long-lasting and recurrent disorder; and one of the main causes of disability world –wide.

For Older Children/Adolescents: Frequent tantrums, intense irritability, talking about fears and worries, constant motion, little or excessive sleep, not interested in playing with other children, have difficulties making friends, repeat actions, frequent stomach pain or headaches with no known medial cause etc.

Loss of interest, poor sleep, low energy, withdrawing from social interaction, fear of gaining weight or exercising excessively, engaging in self-harm behavior (cutting), suicidal thoughts, increased energy, reduced need for sleep, hearing things others are not hearing while awake and using drugs excessively (smoking, drinking alcohol).

The presence of mental health conditions in children and adolescents is associated with disability, educational difficulties, physical ill health and when left untreated, limits opportunities for leading fulfilling lives. Therefore, early detection and treatment of mental health conditions is vital in preventing more serious, lasting problems as the child/adolescent develop.

At Azalea, we assist children and adolescents going through any psychological challenges by providing prompt/effective evidence-based services and a conducive environment for recovery, thereby helping them live fulfilling lives. The earlier treatment is started, the more effective it can be.