12 Questions You Should Ask About Your Child's Mental Health

12 questions to help assess whether your child might have a mental health problem.

Does my child...

  1. Often seem sad, tired, restless, or out of sorts?
  2. Spend a lot of time alone?
  3. Have low self-esteem?
  4. Have trouble getting along with family, friends, and peers?
  5. Have frequent outbursts of shouting, complaining, or crying?
  6. Have trouble performing or behaving in school?
  7. Show sudden changes in eating patterns?
  8. Sleep too much or not enough?
  9. Have trouble paying attention or concentrating on tasks like homework?
  10. Seem to have lost interest in hobbies like music or sports?
  11. Show signs of using drugs and/or alcohol?
  12. Talk about death or suicide?

If you answered yes to 4 or more of these questions, and these behaviors last longer than 2 weeks, you should seek professional help for your child.


  • American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
    3615 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20016-3007
    202-966-7300 or 800-333-7636
  • Anxiety Disorders Association of America
    8730 Georgia Avenue, Suite 600
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
    (formerly the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association)
    730 N. Franklin Street, Suite 501
    Chicago, IL 60610-3526
    312-642-0049 or 800-826-3632
  • National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
    Colonial Place Three
    2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300
    Arlington, VA 22201-3042
  • National Institute of Mental Health
    6001 Executive Boulevard
    Room 8184, MSC 9663
    Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
    301-443-4513 or 800-421-4211
  • National Mental Health Association
    2001 N. Beauregard Street - 12th Floor
    Alexandria, VA 22311
    703-684-7722 or 800-969-6642

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2022, January 11). 12 Questions You Should Ask About Your Child's Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 18 from

Last Updated: January 17, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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