Speak Up for Our Kids — and Promote Mental Health

For parents of children with psychiatric disorders, knowledge is power. The Child Mind Institute's Speak Up for Kids campaign is a great way to share it.
Speak Up, Please | posted by Wayne Kalyn
ADD families can put life in a positive perspective by finding gratitude in parenting a child with ADHD. ADDitude magazine

Your middle-schooler can't sit still — in class or at home. Does that mean he has ADHD? Do your daughter's anxious thoughts about everyday life mean she has an anxiety disorder?

The Child Mind Institute launches its annual Speak Up for Kids campaign in May to help parents answer these questions. The goal is to inform the public about proper ways to recognize — and support — children with mental health issues.

All month long, the Child Mind Institute will air live webcasts from a wide range of mental health experts and provide online resources and tools for parents who want to take control of their child's challenges. There is a mental health quiz you can take that updates you about the inadequate level of mental health resources for our kids — did you know that there are 75,000 taxidermists in the U.S., but only 8,000 child and adolescent psychiatrists?

For parents of children with psychiatric disorders, knowledge is power. "Kids who are struggling should get help before their impulsivity becomes dangerous, before their anxiety becomes crippling, before their failure in school makes them decide they’re 'stupid,' before their disruptive behavior gets them in serious trouble," says Harold Koplewicz, president of the Child Mind Institute.

The more parents know about children's mental health, the more likely they'll be to help their kids "before they miss out on the main task of childhood and adolescence — learning."

How much do you know about autism, anorexia, dyslexia, and depression? Help bust the harmful myths that persist about these and other disorders—for instance, the idea that ADHD is caused by bad parenting — by heading to Speak Up for Children at http://childmind.org/speakup.

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