Mental health conditions can interfere with a person’s thought processes, emotions, temperament and behavior, and tend to reduce a person’s ability to cope with typical life responsibilities. Mental health issues may develop as a reaction to a traumatic event, life event transitions, physical health conditions, and prominent levels of stress. Information about mental health conditions is available at

Knowing the signs of mental illness is important to getting people the help they need. Below are some potential signs of a mental health issue in adults. Symptoms may vary from person to person. Individuals who display these indicators are not necessarily at risk for mental illness.

  • Difficulty coping with problems and/or daily activities
  • Changes in personality; out-of-character thoughts or behaviors
  • Evidence of hallucinations or delusions • Extreme worry, hopelessness, or lethargy
  • Noticeable alterations in appetite and sleeping patterns
  • Misuse/abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Unwarranted feelings of rage or aggressive behaviors
  • Indications of intent to harm oneself or others

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 1 in 5 children suffer from some degree of
mental illness. Some signs to look for in children include:

  • Inability to cope with disruptive thoughts
  • Chronic crying, anxiety or tension
  • Increasingly intense fear of new ideas, objects, or circumstances
  • Decline in attentiveness and achievement at school and/or other activities
  • Observation by significant person(s) about recent changes in behavior and/or attitude
  • Increasing confusion about school work
  • Teacher’s observation of a potential learning disability
  • Loss of interest in activities that he or she once enjoyed participating in
  • Onset of regressive behaviors such as thumb sucking
  • Displays of violence towards others or destruction of property
  • Excessive talk about death
  • Evidence of declining self-esteem
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Displays of sexually offensive behaviors

In order for us to maintain good health and build resilience, each of us needs to take time to focus on our own mental wellbeing. This might include connecting with others, doing physical activity, eating healthy, or trying a new hobby. Don’t hesitate to share concerns with a health professional, or mental health specialist.

Sources: National Institute of Mental Health, LifeWork Strategies EAP, The Reginald S. Lourie Center, and Washington and Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Centers.