Video Series Helps Parents and Kids Manage this Time of Transition

Starting school for the first time or returning to the classroom is exciting and fun for some children. For others who might be struggling with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
anxiety or depression, it can be frightening and stressful. It is important for parents and guardians to keep an eye out for common signs of these mental illnesses that can surface during this time of
transition and prevent children from succeeding in their studies.

1 in 3 – Number of children ages 8 to 17 who said they experienced a physical symptom of stress (headache, stomachache, sleeplessness) in the last month. – Source: American Psychology Association

Adventist Behavioral Health recently released videos to provide educational resources to parents and caregivers about how to recognize and handle ADHD, anxiety and depression in children. The videos feature Marissa Leslie, MD, Adventist Behavioral Health’s medical director of outpatient services and a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Adventist Behavioral Health’s Outpatient Wellness Clinic.

“The videos provide an overview of the causes and signs of the mental illness and offer easy tips on preventing stress and juggling the demands of work and school schedules—factors that often lead to depression and anxiety if not properly managed,” Dr. Leslie says. “The ADHD video is also a valuable aid for parents who are looking for help in supporting and engaging a child with ADHD.”

ADHD

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11 percent of children ages 4 to 17 (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. The ADHD video explains how the condition affects young children and their development in school and at home. Dr. Leslie offers tips for parents to help children who have ADHD focus on completing tasks, staying organized at home and being more successful at school.

Anxiety

A National Institute of Mental Health survey estimates that anxiety disorders affect 8 percent of teens ages 13 to 18. In the anxiety video, Dr. Leslie discusses the different symptoms of the condition, including excessive worry or fear, trauma-based anxiety disorders and ritualized behaviors (also known as obsessive-compulsive disorders). Dr. Leslie also helps differentiate normal anxiety behaviors from excessive and destructive anxiety behaviors.

Depression

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 11 percent of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18. In this video, Dr. Leslie explains the warning signs of depression and how individuals can help prevent the onset of depression, particularly during stressful times of year, like the back-to-school season, through practical stress management and self-care tips. Says Dr. Leslie, “A good night’s rest, exercise, eating a well-balanced diet and ensuring you have time to relax can help tremendously in staying mentally healthy.”