When to refer to counseling

Children or adolescents that exhibit these behaviors may benefit by working with a counselor. Some of these behaviors may not be as obvious as others, but they may be a symptom of underlying mental health issues. Consult with a mental health professional if you are concerned about your child’s emotional, mental, or behavioral health:

  • Avoidant, anxious, or clingy towards teachers or caregivers

  • General fearfulness/sudden new fears that are not developmentally appropriate

  • Excessive worry or preoccupation

  • Many complaints of aches and pains -  especially if there is a pattern to the complaints

  • Sadness/depression

  • Decreased interest in friends or activities

  • A consistent irritable mood

  • A decline in grades

  • Lack of motivation or energy

  • Bully behaviors or those who are the victim of bullies

  • Aggressive behavior

  • Helplessness, passive, or low frustration tolerance

  • Restless, impulsive, hyperactive

  • Inattention, often seem as if they are daydreaming

  • Sexualized behavior

  • Poor peer relationships and social problems

  • Doesn’t seem understand others’ feelings

  • Absenteeism

  • Increased sensitivity to sensory inputs (bells, door slams, physical contact, etc)

  • Bathroom issues after a developmentally appropriate time

  • Defiant, oppositional behaviors that go beyond what is developmentally appropriate and that are chronic and problematic

  • Recent death or major loss in the family

  • Divorce

  • Chaotic or unstable home lives

  • History of trauma or abuse

  • Use or drugs or alcohol

  • Previous mental health diagnosis