Experts: Mental health services for kids and teens rising

A Healthy You

Indy Child Therapist owner and licensed clinical social worker Jessica Hood says she’s seeing kids as young as four with anxiety.

That’s along with more teenagers battling depression.

Hood says her agency is on track to see more than 1,000 clients a month.

So what’s behind the increase?

She says kids are still processing last year’s ever changing and challenging school year and the impact it’s had on their lives.

That’s along with more access and awareness to issues in today’s society.

But one silver lining to this, Hood says, is the stigma surrounding mental health is declining. With the spotlight on normalizing resources.

She says families and community groups are more comfortable with reaching out for help. 

“Kids are more willing to do it. Parents are more aware of it, and it’s just more readily accessible than it ever has been in history,” said Hood. “Whether that’s the boys and girls club, speech, teachers, primary care doctors, they’re doing a better job of screening for some of these things whether it’s ADHD, or depression or anxiety and so then they’re referring those things out to the people who are best suited to help them.”

Hood says some signs of anxiety and depression in kids include irritability, headaches and stomach aches and even similarities to ADHD like forgetfulness, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Because some signs aren’t always easy to see, it’s also recommended to check in and talk to your kids.

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