Positive mental health is an essential part of every child’s healthy development. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, May 1-7, is an opportunity to talk about mental health with the young people in your lives.

If you see changes in your child’s behavior that have lasted for several weeks or affect her or his ability to function at school or at home, talk with your family’s health care provider. Changes in appetite or sleep, social withdrawal, heightened anxiety or self-destructive behaviors are a few signs that a child may be struggling. Therapeutic care may include family sessions to help everyone find healthy ways to relate with each other. Let the children in your life know that they are not alone and help is available.

HopeSpoke (www.hopespoke.org) helps vulnerable children and families in need of behavioral and mental health treatment. Last year, more than 1,000 children and teens found help at HopeSpoke, from outpatient therapy to school-based services, crisis response programs and extended day treatment. HopeSpoke partners with CenterPointe’s Crisis Response Line, which offers 24-7 support for youth, adults and families. For more information about HopeSpoke or to support mental health for youth in our community, visit www.hopespoke.org or call (402) 475-7666.