Determining if your child is struggling with mental or emotional issues starts with communication.
Michelle Dohlman is a counselor at Lincoln Elementary School in Charles City. She says if you notice your child’s behavior has changed, such as sleeping habits or spending more time alone in their room, talk with them and let them know you’re there for them.
Dohlman says stressors could come from arguments with siblings, bullying at school, and, for an increasing number of students, food insecurity and not knowing where their next meal is coming from. There can also be adult issues among parents that, ideally, would stay adult issues.
Whether it’s a child, teen or adult, Dohlman advises immediate action if someone expresses suicidal thoughts.
You can find more helpful advice from the National Alliance on Mental Health at www.NAMI.org. May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
You can also hear KCHA’s complete interview with Michelle Dohlman here;