Mental Health America Houston shares resources for children struggling with mental illness

HOUSTON (KIAH) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a local organization says it is seeing an increase in the number of Houstonians struggling with mental illness.

Health professionals at Mental Health America Greater Houston say that over the past two years, more and more children and young adults have suffered from anxiety, depression, ADHD and even suicide.

Healthcare workers say “social media” plays a big role in anxiety and depression among millennials and Gen Z. Mental illness can start as early as elementary school.

There are a number of other factors that can contribute to mental illnesses. More recently, the pandemic, experiences at home or at school, grief and loss, and increased responsibility.

We see the number of suicides increasing. We don’t see more adults taking this seriously. It is very easy to fire a young person who is crying out for help.

Jamie Freeny, MHAHouston and School of Behavioral Health

Freeny recommends using resources like therapy or behavioral services at any age. If you can’t afford it, contact local churches or schools.

Explanation about anxiety and depression by a therapist

Also if you have a relative or friend with mental illness. Here are some recommendations.

  1. Listen – try not to ignore their concerns. If you ask questions, make them open-ended.

2. To validate – recognize their feelings.

3. To reassure – Let the person know that you love them, that they are safe and that you hear them.

It is normal to have a fluctuating mood in all of our lives. It goes up and it goes down. But here’s the thing. The higher it goes into an anxious mood or the lower it goes into a depressed mood, the farther from that midpoint begins to impair our judgment.

Matt Barnhill, Barnhill Advice Center.

If you think you are showing signs of mental illness, Mental Health America Houston offers free self-testing. You can find this link and additional resources on their website.

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