OPINION

Health and Wellness… Mental Health Throughout Life

Ann CochranHealth Navigation CoordinatorDallas County Public Health
Health and Wellness… Mental Health Throughout Life

Being healthy socially and emotionally is part of overall good health across the lifespan. Even infants and young children fall on the spectrum from thriving to unhealthy.

The following are indications that a young child may be experiencing emotional distress. Children who have experienced emotional trauma may display the symptoms listed below. Talk with the child’s pediatrician or a licensed mental health professional if you notice the following.

Infants & Toddlers: very difficult to soothe; not interested in things or people; display little emotion.

Preschool children: consistently prefers to not play with others or with toys; goes with strangers “too” easily; is hurtful to self, others or animals.

School aged children: problems such as bed wetting, stomach problems or headaches.

It’s never too late to heal from poor mental health. No longer do we look on mental illness as shameful or taboo. Communities now recognize all health – physical, dental, mental and emotional – are part of a person’s overall well-being.

If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, or behavioral or emotional symptoms that make life difficult, schedule a primary care doctor appointment to rule out physical causes. If indicated, accept mental health treatment, which most insurance covers.