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Teacher's View of Your Child's Mental Health

Your child's teacher can be your ally in helping determine if your child has a psychological disorder or learning disability.

Your child's teacher can be your ally in helping determine if your child has a psychological disorder or learning disability.

You know how your child behaves at home, but do you really know what he or she is like at school? Now is a good time to find out if your child is ready to learn. A child's mental health is an important factor in his or her ability to do well in school.

Mental health is how a child thinks, feels, and acts. Mental health problems can affect any child even elementary or pre-school children. These problems are more common than you may think. One in five children has a diagnosable mental, emotional, or behavior problem that can lead to school failure, family discord, violence, or suicide. Help is available, but two-thirds of children with mental health problems are not getting the help they need. The federal Center for Mental Health Services, a component of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, urges parents and teachers to talk about mental health. Your child's teacher should be your ally. He or she can help you decide if your child may need help.

Here are a few questions you should discuss with your child's teacher.

  1. Does my child seem angry most of the time? Cry a lot? Overreact to things?
  2. Does my child destroy school property or do things that are life-threatening? Harm other children on the playground? Break rules over and over again?
  3. Does my child appear sad or anxious much of the time? Show an unusual concern about grades or tests?
  4. Does my child seem obsessed about how he looks? Often complain about headaches, stomach aches, or other physical problems especially when it's time to take a test or participate in classroom social activities?
  5. Is my child unable to sit still or focus her attention? Make decisions? Respect your authority as a teacher?
  6. Has my child lost interest in things usually enjoyed, such as sports, music, or other school activities? Suddenly started avoiding friends?

If you and your child's teacher answer "yes" to any of these questions, and the problem seems persistent or severe, then you need to find out if a mental health problem is contributing to this behavior. It's not easy for parents to accept that their child may have a problem. Early treatment can help your child succeed in the classroom, but it is important that you seek help.

Sources:

  • SAMHSA National Mental Health Information Center

APA Reference
Writer, H. (2008, November 8). Teacher's View of Your Child's Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/parenting/child-mental-health/teachers-view-of-childs-mental-health

Last Updated: August 11, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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