How do we help with a child who we think is bi-polar?

We recommend getting a professional diagnosis and go from there.

How do we start the local referral process?

Currently Choose Mental Health does not provide local referrals. However we do offer tips on how to best select a provider in your local market. See Finding A Local Therapist

How do we help our children handle stress?

Lifestyle examples are powerful. Consider exercising, turning off the news, stop social media, go on a drive vs home with TV. See [handling stress], [family dynamics]

What are the main executive functions we should be working on with our children?

Time management, Organization, Initiation and Completion, Attention, Metacognition, Flexibility and Shifting, Working Memory, and Resilience.

How does executive function play a role in mental health?

Providing the support that children need to build these [Executive Function] skills at home, in early care and education programs and in other settings they experience regularly, is one of society’s most important responsibilities. Growth-promoting environments provide children with “scaffolding” that helps them practice necessary skills before they must perform them alone. Adults can facilitate the development of a child’s executive function skills by establishing routines, modeling social behavior, and creating and maintaining supportive, reliable relationships. [developingchild.harvard.edu]

How to improve social skills?





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Our family is a blended family and our children are struggling with it. How do we fix it?

There are therapeutic providers who only focus on blended family needs. [See referral process] [dealing with divorce], [balance relationships]

Does my child have mental illness if they are failing in school?

Not necessarily. Some children just need school to come slower and explain better. If your child is a processing child they may need more help than normal. If your child has ADD or ADHD they may just need medication to help them focus. A high sugar and/or high fructose diet may be contributing to the problem. Little or no exercise may also be a large factor.

My child is rigid and inflexible, how do I help them?

A parent’s approach to helping a rigid child is key to mitigating the problem.  Make sure you are solving the right problem. See video: Oppositionality vs. Rigidity

My child has no social skills or sees social cues, what should I do?

Children who miss social cues or other common social interactions may need help with executive function. It is a common problem and may also be a sign of bigger needs. Testing done in most schools by psychologists can begin the process.

Is my divorce hurting my children?

Possibly. Dealing with divorce often destabilizes children. Children take divorce personally and feel at fault. Another common pit to avoid is confiding in your children about how bad your spouse is. To children, their mother or father don’t have faults so to thrust the idea that one of them is terrible, cheater, liar, “unfit to live” causes terrible conflict in children’s foundational core and tears at the fabric of a once safe family unit.

How do we deal with anxiety?

Anxiety has many names. Stress, scared, worried, tense but these are not all bad. Debilitating anxiety is bad and there are many things that can be done. Among the greatest is exercise that achieves an elevated heart rate for 30-60 minutes each day. Exercise is so powerful that consistent exercise nearly always brings down dramatically the need for meds. Also see video.

Our family has experienced tremendous trauma, how do we fix our kids?

Trauma of any kind is very serious. This can be self-inflicted or inflicted. Both should be treated with extremely good therapists who specialize in trauma informed therapy. EMDR Certification is a key beginning when searching for a therapist and they should have many years of full-time practice as well.






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My child just started using drugs, what do we do?

Recreational drug use is very different than being absorbed in the culture of drug use. Both are serious and should be treated by someone who has the experience to walk your child through the storms that are certain to follow. Get therapeutic advice on setting boundaries and holding them as a family. Choose your path carefully and with the support of a substance use therapist. Parents must work together to be effective. See [substance use]






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How do we help our child’s depression?

Visit Depression; The Mental Health Institute

See [overcoming depression]






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How do I manage my child’s anger?

There are many techniques to help with this need. Anger is often a symptom of other issues and can be de-escalated with proper listening skills and validation. First seek to understand the issue and trigger before you seek to be understood. See this video:

Is there a way to help guide parents with an autistic child?

There are many great services for autistic children in our public school system, many colleges and other services in the communities.
The most mild (ASD1) have a bright future and options are plentiful even tech schools or college are options. See www.neurohealththerapy.com [programs and autism]

My child graduated and won’t launch. They play video games all day long. What do we do?

Therapy is a great beginning. Video link [understand before being understood]

What if the local therapy sessions don’t work?

This is where you as parents need to decide if it is time for your child to attend residential care. It is a big step but necessary for some recovery plans.

How can I help my child from falling apart in high school?

School is a very troubling thing for some students. If a student doesn’t process well, there is going to be trouble. Some students quit trying, some quit caring, some start using drugs, but all are doing one thing….avoiding school. School needs to be broken down into single task options. Then the next task then the next. Multiple step instructions and certain topics are daunting and scary and often cause backlash. See [parenting tips], [school refusal] [processing]

My child is volatile, loud, rude and out of control. We are on eggshells. What can we do?

A: Video Link [Managing Anger]

What are Educational Consultants?

Educational Consultants are the gateway to being considered for residential placement. They are experts on what each premium program can accomplish with students and work with parents and programs to find the top 2 or 3 places that might be the best fit for your child.

What makes Choose Mental Health Programs better?

Just because a program is not in our network doesn’t make them bad. What it does mean is the programs that are part of the network are working hard to deliver a better result and allow Choose Mental Health to hold them accountable to the standards. In other words, Choose Mental Health is the industry holding the industry accountable for clinical excellence.

Why are mental health problems happening now as my child gets older?

This is a difficult question to address because all youth are different. It is common to see problems surfacing around age 4 or 5. Also a common age is young teens. Many children learn how to disguise their needs and when they get older, more responsibilities makes it harder for them to hide it.

Why is my child a “class clown”?

Your child may be a “processing student” who struggles with school. Being a “class clown” may be a defense mechanism to help divert the attention from their inabilities and redirect to humor that they can control.

How do I deal with school refusal?

Check out these videos. [school refusal] [processing]

Are we (parents) making things worse by our approach?

It is likely as our natural parenting instincts are usually not the best. Actions of all parties can cause intense moments. Check out these resources. [rigid vs ] [parenting tips] [holding boundaries]

Will my child ever be “normal” again?

A difficult question. Mental health needs come in many forms. Many of the needs like anxiety, depression and other common forms are very treatable. It takes patience and lots of love.