Treatment of Children with Mental Illness

Frequently Asked Questions

The National Institute of Mental Health offers answers to frequently asked questions about the treatment of mental health issues and disorders in children. There are 20 questions and answers in this document that can be very helpful to parents and guardians of children with special mental health needs. Here is a list of those questions:

  • What should I do if I am concerned about mental, behavioral, or emotional symptoms in my child?
  • How do I know if my child's problems are serious?
  • Can symptoms be caused by a death in the family, illness in a parent, family financial problems, divorce, or other events?
  • How are mental illnesses diagnosed in young children?
  • Will my child get better with time?
  • Are there treatment options for children?
  • What are psychotropic medications?
  • Are there treatments other than medications?
  • When is it a good idea to use psychotropic medications in young children?
  • Does medication affect young children differently than older children or adults?
  • How should medication be included in an overall treatment plan?
  • What medications are used for which kinds of childhood mental disorders?
  • What does it mean if a medication is specifically approved for use in children?
  • Why haven't many medications been tested in children?
  • How do I work with my child's school?
  • What resources are available from the school?
  • What special challenges can school present?
  • What else can I do to help my child?
  • How can families of children with mental illness get support?
  • Where can I go for help?

Visit the National Institute of Mental Health for answers to these questions.