It's not easy being a middle-schooler. Children go through a lot of changes between elementary and middle school. Not only do educational goals change, but so do children. After all, the middle school years are when hormonal changes begin to occur. When you add all those changes, it's no wonder that children experience mental health problems during those years. If you're concerned about your child, but you're not sure what to do, take a look at the information provided below. If you recognize any of the situations described here, it might be time to seek out mental health services for your middle-schooler.
Your Child has Threatened Self-Harm
If your child has threatened any type of self-harm, you need to take those threats seriously. Increased threats of self-harm are a warning sign that your child is having a difficult time coping with issues that are affecting their life. Some threats to watch for include threats of violence against themselves, or suicidal comments. If you hear any of those types of comments from your child, seek immediate mental health help for them. It's also important to note that you should watch for signs of self-harm, including unusual cuts or injuries on your child's body. These may be signs that your child is already self-harming.
Your Other Children Have Noticed a Problem
If you have other children, and they've commented about behavior changes that they've noticed, pay attention to those comments. Your other children may be noticing changes in their sibling that you've been unable to see, especially if they all go to school together. Your child may be acting out when you're not around, since they may be more comfortable exhibiting their mental health problems to their siblings.
Your Child is Struggling in School
If your middle-schooler is suddenly struggling at school, talk to their teachers and counselors right away. Some school issues can be related to changing coursework, or increased requirements associated with middle school curriculum. However, other changes in school work may be associated with mental health issues. These changes may include a sudden lack of interest in school work, or a loss of focus during class time.
Your Family is Going Through Changes
If your family is going through changes, your middle-schooler may be at an increased risk for mental health problems. Changes such as divorce or life-threatening illnesses can be difficult for children to process. One way to protect your child from those changes is to provide them with access to mental health services. For any questions you have regarding what services entail and how they may help your child, reach out to a professional provider like Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc.