mental health support

There’s no doubt that, as a parent, you want the best for your child. While it may be difficult to spot when they could benefit from mental health support, there are some telltale signs you should look for. If your child shows any of the signs below, it’s a good idea to reach out to a mental health professional for an evaluation. Here at HealthPark Pediatrics, we have put together a list of how to know when your child needs mental health support. 

Argumentative Behaviors

If you notice your child is arguing with you, peers, teachers, and others on a regular basis, they may be struggling with behavioral issues. It may seem like they’re just complaining or being defensive, but it’s highly likely that they’re in need of some help. Defiant behavior is often a symptom of an underlying mental health condition. 

Sudden Changes In Habits Or Interests

Look for any shifts in your child’s daily habits or interests. If they’re eating or sleeping more or less than normal or no longer enjoy sports, piano, or other hobbies or interests they used to love, they may be coping with emotional stressors and warrant mental health support. 

Excessive Worrying

Worrying is normal in children, especially during major life changes and transitions. However, if your child is constantly worried and sad, they may be a candidate for counseling or other mental health support options. With the proper assistance, they can become more level-headed and achieve greater peace of mind.


While regressions are typical when your child switches schools, moves, or goes through any other life changes, they shouldn’t occur for no reason. If your child is displaying regressions out of nowhere, mental health support is worth exploring. Some of the most common regressions to look for include anxiety, fearfulness, temper tantrums, and bedwetting (even when your child is potty trained at night). 

Social Isolation

When children are struggling with anxiety or sadness, they may purposely withdraw from social situations. Since socialization is important for their health and interpersonal relationships, social isolation can be problematic. If your child is suddenly eating meals alone, avoiding birthday parties and playdates, or simply doesn’t want to leave the house, you should get them checked out by a mental health professional. 

Destructive Behaviors

Destructive behaviors such as throwing objects and punching holes in the wall can be concerning. This is particularly true if they occur frequently for no apparent reason. By seeking mental health support for your child, you can uncover whether they’re coping with pain, anger, and/or resentment, which can all take a serious toll on their mental state.

Poor Academic Performance

If your child usually gets good grades and excels in school, poor academic performance may be a sign of a mental health condition, especially if it comes on suddenly. There’s likely a reason your child is struggling in school. A mental health professional can help you discover what that is so your child can receive the support they need.

Frequent Death Discussions 

Most children ask about or talk about death in a curious way at some point in time. In fact, death is highly likely to come up after a family member or pet passes away. If you notice that your child brings up death often, however, they may need mental health support. Note that any discussions about suicide or killing someone else warrants immediate help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 if you believe your child has suicidal thoughts. 

Contact Your Pediatrician 

As parents, it’s essential to recognize symptoms in your children that may warrant the need for mental health support. If you’re concerned about your child’s mental well-being, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional as soon as possible. They can help you navigate your child’s situation and steer them toward a healthier, happier future. If you’re looking for guidance or have more questions about mental health support for your child, be sure to contact us at 919-896-7066.