Article by Laura Walker featured in the Northside Sun, April 27, 2017.

Special to the Sun

Today in the United States, one out of five children experiences a mental health challenge – 70 percent present symptoms by the age of 14. More disturbing, fewer than 20 percent ever receive proper treatment. We protect our children with regular physical health check-ups to ensure if there is a problem it is caught early and effectively treated. The urgency of treating mental health conditions should be as immediate as treating a child’s physical health illnesses.

Undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues can have long-term effects on a young child’s developing brain, hormones and immune system. Untreated mental health issues can also affect a child’s ability to perform well in school and can impact relationships with family, friends and others in the community. Early intervention is key in preventing and reducing the progression of illnesses, as well as improving longer-term mental and physical health outcomes.

Canopy Children’s Solutions’ Behavioral Health Clinics provide solutions to children and families for issues such as trauma, ADHD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, disruptive behaviors and social issues from a trauma-informed perspective.

 “Rather than focus solely on the ‘problem behaviors,’ we build rapport with the child and families to try to understand the ‘why’ behind them,” said Heather Statham, supervisor for the Canopy Children’s Solutions’ Behavioral Health Clinic in Jackson. “Changes in a child’s behavior or demeanor can be the first sign something more is going on. The earlier a child can get help, the better the outcome. We work with not only the kids, but the families as well to offer holistic solutions that are individualized to the needs of each child and family. We work to help them reach their treatment goals, not the other way around.”
 Prompt diagnosis and intervention in the early stages of a problem can have a significant and life-changing impact on a child. Outpatient solutions, like those offered through Canopy’s Behavioral Health Clinic, allow families to seek confidential treatment with a wide variety of evidence-based treatments and effective coping skills including cognitive behavior therapy, emotions management, play therapy, relaxation techniques, family therapy, and role playing. Individualized therapy provides the child with the tools needed to be successful in daily life.

When a child faces a mental or behavioral health disorder, you must take purposeful action to place that child on a trajectory to thrive. By addressing issues early, you are helping him become a success story.

For more information about Canopy Children’s Solutions, visit mycanopy.org or call 800.388.6247. Canopy Children’s Solutions’ Behavioral Health Clinic in Jackson is located at 1465 Lakeland Dr. The clinic provides children and families with convenient therapy options for behavioral, emotional or mental health problems.

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