Everybody has ups & downs. How do you know if you or your loved one is going through a normal phase of life, or if you are seeing signs of a mental health concern? How do you know when you should get help from a professional? Here are some indications a mental health evaluation may be needed:

Younger Children

Marked fall in school performance
Poor grades in school despite trying very hard
A lot of worry or anxiety, as shown by regular refusal to go to school, go to sleep or take part in activities normal for the child’s age
Hyperactivity; fidgety; constant movement beyond regular play
Persistent nightmares, night terrors
Persistent disobedience or aggression (longer than 6-months) & provocative opposition to authority figures
Frequent unexplainable temper tantrums
Violence to themselves or other people or animals
Prolonged negative mood or attitude, any mention of self-harm or death
Use of alcohol or controlled substance
Has been a victim of trauma

Pre-Adolescents, Adolescents & Adults

Marked change in school or job performance
Inability to cope with problems & daily activities
Marked changes in eating & sleeping habits
Many complaints of physical ailments
Physically or verbally attacking or threatening to attack themselves or others
Direct opposition to authority
Truancy, vandalism, theft . . . petty crimes that are escalating
Intense fear of becoming obese with no relation to actual body weight.
Depression as shown by sustained prolonged negative mood, attitude, thoughts or discussion of death
Has been a victim of trauma
Frequent outbursts of anger
Extreme changes in personality
Abuse of alcohol
Use and/or abuse of controlled substance or illegal drugs

If you or your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms you may wish to speak to your primary care physician, religious support person or school staff about getting a referral for a mental health assessment. You can also download the Solano County Mental Health Mobile Crisis Flyer for more information about getting an assessment.