Children of all ages suffer from varying levels of mental health disorders. No matter what your child is struggling with, you are not alone, and this page is here to connect you with help and resources.
Experiencing a Crisis?
Click on the button below to access 24/7 crisis hotlines, resources, and treatment referrals. You are not alone -- there is an amazing support system in the South Bay. Please reach out for help when you need it.
Major depressive disorder is a severe episode of depression that tends to last from seven to nine months. A child with major depression experiences persistent, intense feelings of sadness and hopelessness that significantly impact her daily life and ability to function.
- Unusual sadness, persisting even when circumstances change
- Reduced interest in activities she once enjoyed; reduced feelings of anticipation
- Involuntary changes in weight
- Shifts in sleep patterns
- Harsh self-assessment (“I’m ugly. I’m no good. I’ll never make friends.”)
- Thoughts of or attempts at suicide
Know that depression symptoms take many forms, and no two people’s experiences are exactly alike.
Know Your Child is Not Alone
A South Bay Teen Shares His Experience
Mira Costa grad and University Penn student, Brian Chao, shares his struggles with depression and anxiety in this SBFC video.
Recommended Online Mental Health Resources and Helplines
For free confidential crisis counseling, mental health information, and referrals to providers, call the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health's 24-hour Access Center at 1-800-854-7771.
The Crisis Text Line has assembled a comprehensive list of referral resources that meet stringent criteria. Topics include abuse, self-harm, substance use, grief, isolation, and more. Topics are searchable online. We highly recommend this resource.
For information related to warning signs of mental health conditions, as well as a helpline, please visit NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental Illness
Resources and Information
The Child Mind Institute offers free online resources, guides, articles from experts, and symptom checker to provide families with insight and advice on common concerns that many families face, including depression. A broad array of mental health issues are addressed.
Teenagers face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. With all this turmoil and uncertainty, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between depression and normal teenage growing pains. (Help Guide)
Keep in mind that your child’s anxiety disorder diagnosis is not a sign of poor parenting. It may add stress to family life, however. It is helpful to build a support network of relatives and friends. (ADAA)
Hear from teens around the country about their experiences and opinions on mental health.
Studies show that 4 out of 5 teen suicide attempts have been preceded by clear warning signs, make sure you know them. Keep reading to learn what teen suicide warning signs to look for, including warning signs or indications of a suicide plan. (Teensuicide.us)
It is not uncommon for parents to wonder whether their child is acting like a normal teenager or behaving differently due to mental illness, drug use or behavioural difficulties. Normal teenagers are often moody due to hormonal and physical changes that happen during puberty. However, when mental illness is involved, it may be difficult to differentiate “normal teenage behaviour” from the symptoms of depression, anxiety and other emotional difficulties. (Friends for Mental Health)
The Mental Illness Happy Hour is a weekly online podcast that interviews comedians, artists, friends, and the occasional doctor. Each episode explores mental illness, trauma, addiction and negative thinking.