LUBBOCK, TX (KLBK) - May 1 - May 7 is Children's Mental Health Awareness Week.
"When we think about in terms of neglecting mental health for children we're risking long term negative affects," said Dr. Chandra Lasley with Covenant Health.
She says some of those affects can be children not being able to achieve a higher education, not having the same employment opportunities and the possibility of being more involved in crime.
"Children just as important as adults, have mental health needs and challenges and strengths and by really devoting attention to that and putting emphasis on that we devote our attention to their well being short term and long term," said Dr. Lasley.
She says when it comes to signs of mental health there are things to look out for.
"Agitation, they feel really really irritable, they may not be doing well at school, they may not have good attention in school concentration wise, they suffer academically," she continued with more sign saying "They may have trouble with their friends, their relationships. Maybe even have trouble communicating with their parents about what's going on in their daily lives. Those are little things to watch out for definitely."
Other signs include trouble expressing anger, being fearful and not eating well. If you're seeing these behaviors in your child Dr. Lasley says it's time to talk.
"It starts with just asking about how they're doing, how their day is to show interest both in positive and challenging experiences and to be present and non-judgmental when having communication with their kids."
She says being direct is also key.
"I think asking about suicide is a really important part of that conversation, to see where the kids at. Maybe they need to go speak to a therapist who is specializing working with kids, maybe they need more social support family support, maybe they need help from a teacher to advocate for them in school," said Dr. Lasley.
She said by being direct it give parents an idea of the severity of the issue making it easier to determine what the most appropriate resource may be.