mental health

Breaking the Stigma on Getting Kids Help With Mental Health

Experts say it's critical to seek help at the first signs of trouble

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This weekend kicks off Children's Mental Health Awareness Week — which looks to remove the stigma around kids who may be dealing anxious feelings, worries, unexpected behavior or trauma.

“Coming out of the pandemic, the rates of anxiety and depression are higher than ever," President and CEO of Baker Center for Children and Families Dr. Bob Franks said. "Some reports say they are as much as doubled."

Dr. Franks and his team in Boston are treating a record number of kids experiencing anxiety, depression, behavioral challenges, ADHD, school worries and trauma.

Still, some parents shy away from care because of the stigma attached.

"If our kid has a strep throat, we take them to the doctor — We don't think twice about it," Dr. Franks said. "The same should be true for mental health challenges."

Dr. Franks officers two pieces of advice if your child is having a tough time: Seek treatment and doctors with a proven track record as quickly as you can.

“The sooner you can identify and effectively treat a problem the more likely its going to be resolved in a short period of time and the better outcomes you’re going to see over the course of a child’s life," Dr. Franks said.

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