How Do You Know You Need Help?

Everybody has ups & downs. How do you know if you or your loved one is going through a normal phase of life, or if you are seeing signs of a mental health concern? How do you know when you should get help from a professional? Here are some indications a mental health evaluation may be needed:

Younger Children

  • Marked fall in school performance
  • Poor grades in school despite trying very hard
  • A lot of worry or anxiety, as shown by regular refusal to go to school, go to sleep or take part in activities normal for the child’s age
  • Hyperactivity; fidgety; constant movement beyond regular play
  • Persistent nightmares, night terrors
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression (longer than 6-months) & provocative opposition to authority figures
  • Frequent unexplainable temper tantrums
  • Violence to themselves or other people or animals
  • Prolonged negative mood or attitude, any mention of self-harm or death
  • Use of alcohol or controlled substance
  • Has been a victim of trauma

Pre-Adolescents, Adolescents & Adults

  • Marked change in school or job performance
  • Inability to cope with problems & daily activities
  • Marked changes in eating & sleeping habits
  • Many complaints of physical ailments
  • Physically or verbally attacking or threatening to attack themselves or others
  • Direct opposition to authority
  • Truancy, vandalism, theft . . . petty crimes that are escalating
  • Intense fear of becoming obese with no relation to actual body weight.
  • Depression as shown by sustained prolonged negative mood, attitude, thoughts or discussion of death
  • Has been a victim of trauma
  • Frequent outbursts of anger
  • Extreme changes in personality
  • Abuse of alcohol
  • Use and/or abuse of controlled substance or illegal drugs

If you or your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms you may wish to speak to your primary care physician, religious support person or school staff about getting a referral for a mental health assessment. You can also download the Solano County Mental Health Mobile Crisis Flyer for more information about getting an assessment.