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Healthy Habits

A parent’s guide to emotional health

Our team has collected parents’ most common behavioral health questions to help you guide your child to help if needed.
5 min read
March 22, 2021
Hazel Team
The editorial staff at Hazel are a diverse group of writers and professionals.

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Mental wellness is important at any age. For children and youth, emotional and behavioral health can be especially important because it can impact physical and mental well-being later in life. Our team has collected parents’ most common behavioral health questions to help you guide your child to help if needed. 

Is it common for children to struggle with mental wellness?
Boys and girls of all ages and ethnic backgrounds experience mental challenges. Mental health problems do not mean that children can’t live happy and successful lives. It just means a child may need support. If your child struggles with a mental health condition, they are not alone. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that nearly one in five children and youth experience a mental health condition. During the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent global and national circumstances, doctors and medical professionals have seen immense growth for children struggling with mental health.

How do I know if my child needs help?
It can be hard for parents to know if their child’s change in behavior is cause for concern. As a child grows up, they will naturally develop new behaviors, habits, and interests. Sometimes, a child acts differently from usual because they had a bad day or experienced temporary stress, like a big test at school or a new move. These types of behavior are usually short-term, and parents can help manage temporary stress with active listening.

If you aren’t sure if your child’s behavior is something to feel concerned about, you may want to consider: 

Are these behaviors common for my child’s age?

Although each child’s mental and physical development varies, you can speak with a teacher, school counselor, or doctor professional about age-appropriate behaviors. 

Behavior Frequency, Duration, and Timing

Is your child exhibiting this behavior often? (Monthly, weekly, daily)

How long do they show the behavior? (Minutes, days, months)

When did you notice this behavior? 

Does the timing align to an event they may be responding to?

How disruptive are these behaviors?

Are these behaviors causing your child to struggle in school?

Has your child lost interest in doing enjoyable activities?

Do the behaviors cause conflict at home or with friends?

What steps should I take if I’m concerned?

If you are worried about your child’s emotional wellness, you may want to ask other family members, close friends, or teachers if they have noticed changes in your child’s moods, interests, or behavior. A good next step is to speak with your child’s doctor. You can share what you’ve noticed and learned from friends and family before the appointment or when you schedule a visit. You can read our article about what to expect from a visit with your pediatrician here.

What can my child’s doctor tell me?

Depending on your child’s care situation, your pediatrician will be familiar with your child’s history and behavior and will be able to identify concerning changes. Sometimes, health problems like poor sleep or nutrition, need for glasses, or difficulty hearing can cause or worsen emotional symptoms. If your child’s doctor feels it is necessary, they may refer you to another doctor or professional with special experience in mental health. 

What can I do if my child needs treatment?

Work with the people in your child’s life. Parents and doctors should work closely with everyone involved in the child’s treatment—teachers, coaches, therapists, and other family members. It’s important to take advantage of all the resources available that will help parents, health professionals, and educators guide the child towards success. 

If you have questions about your child’s mental health, you can ask your doctor. If Hazel is available in your child’s school, you can also reach out to a member of our care team.  By making sure that your children get support if they need it, you can help them grow into healthy, resilient adults.

National Alliance on Mental Illness: You are not alone infographic

National Alliance on Mental Illness: Student Guide to Mental Health

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Hazel services are offered with $0 patient responsibility for all students through the 2020-21 school year for at-home or in-school doctor visits, due to these unprecedented times. Get in touch with us to learn more.
Parent Story
A father was concerned when his son was showing COVID-19 symptoms. His school uses Hazel, so he was able to contact a Hazel doctor from home.

The Hazel provider recommended he get a COVID-19 test and shared resources to help find a testing center in their area. The father was eager to help his son feel better and appreciated being able to quickly get answers and advice.
Nurse Story
A student came into the nurse's office with a sprained ankle. After icing her foot, she still was in pain, so the nurse called Hazel. Thankfully, her family had provided consent for over-the-counter pain relief because she was able to take some medicine and return to class feeling better.

After the visit, the Hazel provider reached out to the school nurse to check on the student’s injury. The nurse shared that the student’s ankle was improving, and she appreciated the follow-up.
Parent Story
A mother noticed her son was getting low on his asthma medication. She tried to schedule a visit with his doctor to refill his prescription, but no appointments were available. She didn’t want her son to run out of medicine, so she reached out to Hazel.

The provider was able to send the refill to a local pharmacy within one day. The mother was happy that her son would have the medicine he needed. She was also amazed at how easy and fast the entire process was.
Student Story
A student was coughing and sneezing a lot, but her family wasn’t sure if she was sick or had allergies. Thankfully, her school used Hazel, and they could get an answer.

After talking with the school nurse and the Hazel provider about her symptoms and medical history, the student was happy to find out it was likely allergies. She got some medicine and returned to class feeling better.
Student Story
During the pandemic, a high school student was having a hard time coping. She was sad about COVID-19 impacting her senior year, and she was worried about the state of the world. The student was also struggling with some personal conflicts, and she felt she didn't have the right support at home. After discussing her feelings, a Hazel doctor connected her with resources that she described as “life-changing.” She was very grateful and shared that she didn't know where to go for help before Hazel.
Parent Story
Shortly after COVID-19 began, a student began to develop tics. Her parents took her to a neurologist, but they wanted to get her into counseling as well. The student’s mother was having a hard time finding answers to her questions and didn’t know where to start the process, so she turned to Hazel.

The Hazel doctor listened as the mother shared her concerns and frustrations. Hazel reassured her that they would find the right services for her child. After the initial visit, the Hazel doctor partnered with the school counselor and the student’s mother to identify resources and counseling services that are a good fit.
Student Story
A student came into the nurse’s office because his vision went blurry. The Hazel doctor looked at his eyes, but he did not see any injury. As he asked him questions about his symptoms, he started to sense that he was down about something. After a few minutes, the student shared that he was really sad because his mom was recently diagnosed with cancer. He explained that he feels worried, and it’s hard for him to focus.

Hazel called home, and the student’s mother confirmed her diagnosis. They discussed how to help manage the child’s stress, and Hazel offered to connect the child with counseling resources through the school. The mother was very grateful for the guidance and was eager to get her child help during a stressful time.
Counselor Story
Hazel Health has been integral this year in getting our students the mental health services needed to help them live healthy lives.  The staff has been attentive, prompt, and resourceful. There is an evident sense of caring for the work they do and the students they serve. It has been a pleasure partnering with Hazel Health in providing mental wellness for our Garland ISD families.