Pediatric nurse practitioners and other pediatric-focused APRNs are often the health care providers who see your children most frequently and are best acquainted with your children’s well-being. They are educated and trained to screen for behavioral or developmental progress or challenges. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s development or behavior, contact your provider.
Mental Health Facts For Families
Early Detection is Key
Today, one in five adolescents in America suffer from developmental, mental or behavioral health illnesses. In order for these children to avoid serious, adverse outcomes as they get older, it is critical for these illnesses to be detected early. Pediatric-focused APRNs play a key role in early detection for mental and behavioral health issues in children and teens.
Mental health/psychosocial morbidities are surpassing physical health issues, including asthma and diabetes, in children today. Several factors play a role in this, including: family instability and malfunctioning, stigma associated with mental health problems/treatment, access to care and reimbursement issues, lack of screening and genetics.
Every encounter a pediatric-focused APRN has with a child is an opportunity to screen them for mental health issues. Additionally, PNPs can offer counseling and educational information to both the child and parent if they detect a mental health issue. Due to the stigma associated with developmental, behavioral and mental health issues, many parents may be apprehensive about discussing the subject. Screening tools can help open the door to a conversation about mental health issues and the role parents play.
- Integration of Mental Health Care in Pediatric Primary Care Settings – NAPNAP’s latest position statement on pediatric mental health.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
- National Alliance of Mental Illness Mental Health by the Numbers – These visual charts provide statistics on mental health across the U.S.
- Bright Futures Developmental Tools for Families and Providers – This toolkit provides families and providers with the resources needed to help start a conversation about health social and mental development in children and teens.
- CDC Mental Health Information – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website includes basic information as well as publications and data statistics.
- MentalHealth.gov – A federal online resource that discusses the early warning signs for mental health situations and provides resources for approaching someone about their mental health. Some resources also available in Spanish.
- National Institute of Mental Health’s Child and Mental Health page – NIMH’s website provides publications, statistics, educational resources and information on treatment.
- Start Your Recovery – a website developed by bringing together experts in substance abuse treatment from leading nonprofit, academic, and government institutions that offers people a single source of relatable, reliable information at any stage of their substance misuse recovery journey.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – SAMHSA provides information on both mental health and substance abuse through programs they run, data and publications.
- SAMHSA Community Conversations About Mental Health – This toolkit provides resources designed to help promote mental health and access to treatment and recovery services within the community.
- American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: Facts for Families Guide – This website includes a variety of topics to choose from and provides information on different mental health conditions as well as links to other helpful resources.
NAPNAP has created an excellent resource that will help teens and families answer common questions about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). View a variety of patient/provider scenarios that answer questions about ADHD. Check out these valuable resources on YouTube with the links provided below.
- ADHD Conversations: Introduction
- ADHD Conversations: Symptoms
- ADHD Conversations: Medications: How They Work
- ADHD Conversations: Medication Dosing
- ADHD Conversations: Medication in School
- ADHD Conversations: School Accommodations for ADHD
- ADHD Conversations: Medication Holidays
- ADHD Conversations: Medication Management in College
- ADHD Conversations: Driving and ADHD
- ADHD Conversations: Bullying and ADHD
- ADHD Conversations: Emergency Scenarios
Find a variety of information about bullying including but not limited to signs of bullying, prevention strategies, how to stop bullying and much more at StopBullying.gov.
Youth Violence Prevention
Youth violence refers to harmful behaviors that can start early and continue into young adulthood. The young person can be a victim, an offender, or a witness to the violence. Learn more about youth violence.
CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early.
From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he/she plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern. Find a variety of resources at Learn the Signs. Act Early.
New! CDC’s Milestone Tracker App
The new app offers:
- Interactive milestone checklists for children ages 2 months through 5 years, illustrated with photos and videos
- Tips and activities to help children learn and grow
- Information on when to act early and talk with a doctor about developmental delays
- A personalized milestone summary that can be easily shared with the doctor and other care providers
- Reminders of appointments and developmental screening