Children, Teens
& Mental Health

Like the doctor you turn to for fevers and flus, there’s help out there for a child’s emotional pain too. Learn about mental health in teens and children and scroll for mental health resources for young people.

Effects on Children & Teens

Untreated mental health challenges can undermine a child or teenager’s ability to thrive at home, school, and in the community. This can lead to issues like dropping out of school, getting in trouble with the law, unemployment, or even suicide.

When it comes to mental health and adolescence, parents, family members, teachers, and caregivers are usually the first to notice if a child or teen has challenges with emotions or behavior. These observations can help determine whether you need to seek help for your child.

1 in 5
Youth in the U.S., over 3 million kids, have a diagnosable mental health challenge7
Youth with mental health challenges go untreated8
Increase in 11–17 year olds accessing mental health screenings from 2019 to 20209

Spotting Depression in Children & Teens

Depression in children and teens can look very different from depression in adults. Here are common signs to look out for10:

Learn More About Mental Health

Resources That Help

If you suspect a problem or have questions, talk with your child’s pediatrician, contact a mental health professional, or call the Access and Crisis Line for no-cost resources.

Use Our Resource Tool
The Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240 provides support 24/7. Experienced counselors can answer questions about mental health and substance use, provide referrals, offer support and crisis intervention. In the case of a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
NAMI San Diego offers the Organized Support Companion in an Emergency Situation apps (oscER and oscER Jr.) that provide support for families and friends of those experiencing mental health challenges.
Download from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
NAMI San Diego

For more information, check out the Growing Up articles in the It’s Up to Us mental health bulletins below.

Growing Up: Is Your Teen Moody or Depressed?

Growing Up: Start the Talk about Underage Drinking

Growing Up: Helping Children Make Sense of a Parent’s Mental Illness

Growing Up: Turn Off the Screen & Turn On Wellbeing

Growing Up: Emotional Health for New Moms & Moms to Be

Growing Up: Youth Empowerment Programs

Suicide Prevention, Substances,
& Substance Use Disorders
There are many factors that can affect mental health. Get in-depth information and tips when it comes to suicide prevention, substances, and substance use disorders.
7 Mental Health America's 2021 State of Mental Health in America Report, Mental Health America 2021
8 Mental Health America's 2021 State of Mental Health in America Report, Mental Health America 2021
9 Mental Health America's 2021 State of Mental Health in America Report, Mental Health America 2021
10 Mayo Clinic, Teen Depression Overview,, Retrieved August 2021