Many mental health problems begin in early childhood, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism and disruptive behaviour problems (e.g., aggression, opposition and defiance).
Some of the first signs of mental health problems are lasting changes in children’s behaviour that affect how they function (e.g., changes in mood, energy level, sleep, attitude and appetite).
Professionals now have effective diagnostic tools to identify mental disorders in very young children. However, parents still play an important role, by often being the first to see the warning signs. This speaks to the need to better inform parents of early signs of mental health problems so that they can seek help for their children as soon as possible.