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The month of May is National Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS) will be joining other agencies throughout the country to raise awareness and support for those struggling with mental health issues. On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, all students and personnel are encouraged to wear green in some form to show their support.
Poor mental health among children continues to be a substantial public health concern. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety among children of all ages, and symptoms related to depression among adolescents, are the most common concerns. More information on positive indicators of mental health such as emotional well-being and resilience is needed to truly understand children’s mental health.
Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include:
Excessive crying or irritation in younger children.
Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting).
- Excessive worry or sadness.
- Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits.
- Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens.
- Poor school performance or avoiding school.
- Difficulties with attention and concentration.
- Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past.
- Unexplained headaches or body pain.
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
If you are experiencing any of these feelings or struggling with other mental health issues, know that you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. School counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, school nurses, as well as your primary care provider can help.
You can find additional support or guidance from the CDC on their website. For information on student services available through GCPS, please visit the student services page of our website.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, the national suicide prevention hotline is 1.800.273.TALK (8255) or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.