Children and teens playing a family gameChildren and teens can develop a broad range of mental health issues, and up to 50% of these may develop before age 14. In addition, issues with school, friendship and bullying, the birth of new siblings, and divorce may impact children in life-altering ways that can also affect mental health. Below are some concerns children and adolescents may commonly experience.

Abandonment Issues

Most children rely on their parents for survival and emotional support. When children are abandoned by their parents or fear being abandoned, reassurance and mental health support may be key. Read more

Academic Concerns

When children begin attending school, they may face a variety of challenges. Difficulties in school could indicate a learning disability, problems with bullying, family issues, a mental health condition, or something else. Read more

Adoption and Foster Care Issues

Children in the foster care system and those who have been adopted may need to work through complicated emotions or questions brought up by their circumstance. Parents or caregivers can help address these issues with the help of a qualified mental health professional. Read more


It’s not uncommon for anxiety to affect children, particularly as they begin adolescence. A therapist can help determine whether a child’s symptoms are caused by anxiety or something else and how best to help. Read more

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD)

ADHD is often diagnosed in children, and medication may be prescribed to manage symptoms. Therapy can also help children manage hyperactive or inattentive behaviors. Read more

Autism and Asperger’s

Autism is most often diagnosed early in childhood. There are many signs that can help parents identify it, and early treatment can help autistic people manage their symptoms. Read more

Blended Family Issues

When two partners, each with children from a previous relationship, cohabitate or marry, a blended family is formed. New blended family dynamics can take some getting used to, especially for children. Read more


Bullying can occur in many contexts, but bullying in school may be especially common. If the behavior is unaddressed, victims may experience anxiety, depression, eating disorders, thoughts of self-harm, and difficulty completing schoolwork. Read more

Child Neglect

Neglect can lead to mental health issues that impact them well into adulthood. Children who are neglected may not be able to talk about it and may even have difficulty recognizing when they’re experiencing neglect. Read more


While approximately 2% of children age 12 and under experience depression, over half of youth who are depressed do not get the help they need. Read more

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation (DMDD)

Disruptive mood dysregulation is only diagnosed in children who are 6 to 18 years of age. Some common symptoms include severe irritability or tantrums. Read more

Divorce Issues

A parent’s divorce can greatly impact children. The changes divorce brings may increase a child’s likelihood of developing mental health issues unless addressed early. Read more


Childhood is when giftedness is most often identified in an individual. A gifted child typically has advanced abilities in at least one area compared to their peers and may require specialized education to thrive. Read more

Intellectual Disability

One to three percent of the population has an intellectual disability, and these are most often diagnosed during childhood. Children with intellectual disabilities may need special support as they grow. Read more

Oppositional and Defiant Behavior (ODD)

ODD is usually identified in childhood and may occur as early as one’s toddler years. Unaddressed, it can negatively impact a child’s performance in school as well as their friendships and social life. Read more


Adolescents and young adults are the highest-risk age groups for self-harming behavior. Identifying signs of self-harm is a critical first step to addressing the behavior and its root causes. Read more

Sibling Issues

It’s not uncommon for siblings to go through times of conflict, or even to fight often. Interventions such as family therapy may help repair dynamics that negatively impact a family’s mental health. Read more


Parekh, R. (2018). Warning signs of mental illness. Retrieved from