Pediatric Mental Health

 

Importance of Acknowledging Mental Health

Adolescent mental health is an often overlooked, but essential part of children's overall health and wellbeing. Mental health strongly impacts a person’s physical health and their ability to succeed in the school, home, work, and community environment. Adolescence is formative time for physical, emotional, and social growth and change. Promoting psychological well-being, protecting adolescents from adverse experiences, and acknowledging risk factors through mental health support can best prepare adolescents for a successful adulthood. All children and youth have the right to effective care for a happy and fulfilled future.

Resources:

On this website providers, parents, and teens can find more information about mental health, including:

  • More information on specific mental health disorders such anxiety and depression
  • Warning signs and strategies for parents
  • Information and resources for teens struggling with mental health
  • Contact information for crisis hotlines and local services for seeking help
  • Information on inpatient and outpatient services

 

Occupational Therapy and Mental Health for Kids and Teens:

Occupational therapists (OTs) support people across the lifespan to participate in everyday activities, or daily occupations. They can help develop, recover, maintain, and improve daily activities through client-centered assessment and intervention.

OT’s can support children and teens who are experiencing challenges with mental health, including those who have a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and others.  Such supports are geared at improving and enhancing healthy participation in developmental and daily activities including play and leisure activities, social experiences, self-care, school, family life, work, and community participation. Therapeutic interventions may include activities to target sensory systems, social-emotional learning, self-esteem, self-advocacy, the development of health routines, stress management, coping skills, and mindfulness strategies. Additionally, occupational therapists can help facilitate collaboration with the child, caregivers, teachers, therapists, counselors and others to support continued success.

At Valley Medical Center OT’s work with children and teens in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.  Referrals for OT intervention can be made by your child’s primary care provider.  You can also call 425-690-3513 to talk to one of our scheduling team members or to a member of the occupational therapy team for more information.

For more information, visit The American Occupational Therapy Association website.

Here is an article about emotional regulation written by Loren Burnett OTR/L, and how we can support children and their ability to regulate and cope with emotion. For more information click here. 

 Resources for All:

  •  Suicide Prevention: This article covers what you need to know about suicide, how to help and where teens and kids can go to seek help. 
  • Doc Talks: Join Kari Tanta, PhD,OTR/L, FAOTA, in this video as she talks about recognizing and preventing suicide in our youth.
  • Resources for Families and Patients from Seattle Children's: This site has specific information about many different diagnoses related to mental health, about various types of therapy, treatment group, cost and insurance, podcasts for  families and teens, and much more.
  • Teen Mental Health: Find out more information about mental health specifically related to teens, including resource for friends, families and provider; specific mental health disorders; stigmas; and more.
  • Depression: Read more about depression, including signs to look out for, tips for talking and engaging with your child, and how to seek out treatment.
  • Anxiety: Many resources are available here including for anxiety on specific topics such as school, COVID-19, social anxiety, agoraphobia, along with a large Q&A section and covering basic education of anxiety.
  •  How to Find a Therapist: This document gives you an overview of first steps to take to and questions to ask when finding a Therapist for your child/family.
  • What to Expect During Your Pediatric Inpatient Stay:  This document outlines the safety guidelines set in place to protect you during your inpatient stay.
  • Emotional Well-Being: This website contains resources that can help ensure we are maintaining our emotional well-being.
  • Coping with Stress: COVID-19 has brought more stress and anxiety into our lives. This website is about helpful and healthy ways we can cope with stress and anxiety.

Resources for Parent/Caregivers:

  • What Parents Should Know: Read more about what parents can do to be a role model for their teen, strategies for talking with their teen, actions for if concerns are present, and more.
  • Behavioral Health Toolbox for Families: This toolbox can provide general information about common emotional responses for children, teens and families during disasters like, COVID-19
  • University of Washington Forefront Suicide Prevention: Youth suicide rates are on the rise and with COVID-19 placing more stress on young people, families and students need resources. This website contains a list of information about things families and schools can do to support our youth's mental health and prevent suicide.  
  •  Trigger Cards: This document helps you create an inexpensive safety plan. This can be useful to identify stressful or triggering situations and having strategies to manage emotions and behaviors.
  • Making Your Home Safer:Children are home now more because of this pandemic, here are some tips on how to safety proof your home.
  • Behavioral Health Resource: A comprehensive list of available behavioral health online services.
  • National Institute for Mental Health:  This cite provides authoritative information about mental health disorders and a range of related topics. The cite also includes the latest information in mental health research. 
  • How to Support Your Teen During Covid: Here is an article about how you can help create a bit of normalcy during such a difficult time. Things like cooking together, creating a new routine and encouraging safe socializing practices.
  • Support for Stressed-Out Parents: In a time of increased stress, here is an article on how you can decrease stress.
  • SAMHSA: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Their goal is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness in our communities. 
  • Agencies Providing Child Mental Health Services: This document contains a list of organizations and their website, that provide mental health services for pediatrics. Most of these agencies take state insurance, for more information please check out this document.

 Resources For Teens:

  • Washington State Department of Health: Along with resources for families this document contains warning signs and screening questions for suicidal ideation.
  • Seattle Children's Mental Health Referral: This website connects you with mental health providers who have openings in their schedule. You can get a provider who meets your child's needs and your insurance coverage.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: This website has a multitude of resources for suicide prevention. If you are thinking about suicide and need to talk to someone NOW, please call the hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For Spanish speakers please call: 1-888-628-9454.
  • Digging Deep Exploring Me and My Health Challenges: Here is a printable journal with prompts that allow your child/teen to explore their challenges and emotions. It's also available in Spanish (click here).
  • Screen Yourself: Take this quick online test to find out if you are experiencing mental health challenges. Take note the results are not diagnostic but meant to support you in seeking help if necessary.
  • SAMHSA: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Their goal is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness in our communities. 

Resources For Friends:

  • How to Help a Friend: Read about signs to look out for and what you can do if you have a friend who you think is experiencing challenges with their mental health.