CHARLOTTE, N.C. - May is Children's Mental Health Awareness Month. Right now in North Carolina there are roughly 250,000 children who are in need of help they are not receiving in regards to a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder. Get this for a statistic, that's enough to fill four Bank of America Stadiums.
Craig Bass, the CEO for Alexander Youth Network, says, "About 20-25% of all people have a mental health issue of some sort."
He also says one in 10 has an issue serious enough to require treatment. Bass tells NBC Charlotte many of the children they see have experienced abuse or trauma that causes a deep emotional pain that has a lasting impact them. However, Bass says with the right therapy at the right time, these children can heal and recover.
"I think the biggest problem with mental health is that there is a huge stigma around it. People would rather have a legal history than a mental health diagnosis which is a shame," Bass said.
So what can you do?
Child psychiatrists say there are four warning signs that you need to be on the look out for when it comes to your children:
- Changes in personality
- Changes in school performance
- Changes in sleep habits
- Changes in their appetite
Child Psychiatrist Dr. Rebecca Tomsyck explains, "Certainly if a behavior becomes a problem that is out of the ordinary like if your child is social and becomes withdrawn or become aggressive anything that is a significant change in their personality and level of functioning is a red flag."
After all, you know your children best, the earlier these changes are recognized the earlier they can be treated.
For more information on the Alexander Youth Network's efforts visit their website: http://www.alexanderyouthnetwork.org/