From two of the top child and adolescent psychiatrists at The Hospital for Sick Children comes an accessible guide to common mental health struggles, such as anxiety and depression, for any parent wondering how to help their child.
Is my child okay? Is she eating and sleeping enough? Is he hanging out with the right people? Should I be worried that she spends all her time in her room? Is this just a phase? Or a sign of something serious?
As parents, we worry about our children—about their physical health, performance at school, the types of friends they have, and, of course, their mental health. Every day seems to bring new and expanding issues and disorders and troubling statistics about the rise of mental illness in children and teens. It’s usually obvious what to do for physical injuries like broken bones, but when it comes to our children’s mental health, the answers are much less clear, and sometimes even contradictory.
Pier Bryden and Peter Szatmari, top child and adolescent psychiatrists, are here to help. Using their combined six decades working with families and kids—and their own experiences as parents—they break down the stigma of mental health illness and walk parents through the warning signs, risk factors, prevention strategies, and the process of diagnosis and treatment for mental health challenges arising from:
–Eating disorders –Anxiety –Psychosis –Sleep Disorders –Substance Use Disorders –ADHD –Autism –Depression –Trauma –Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
The most important thing to remember as a parent is that you and your child are not alone. Wellness is a continuum, and there is a lot parents can do to bring their child back to a place of safety. The road ahead isn’t always easy or straightforward, but this guidebook offers essential advice that every parent needs to advocate for their child.
Pier Bryden, MD, is a psychiatrist and award-winning clinical teacher at The Hospital for Sick Children, and an associate professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Oxford University, and McMaster University, she specializes in the ethical and legal aspects of the treatment of children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders. She is the current Chair of the Medical Council of Canada’s Central Examination committee, and was previously the Canadian representative to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Ethics Committee. She is the coauthor of How Can I Help?, a national bestseller, and Start Here: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children and Teens through Mental Health Challenges.
Peter Szatmari, MD, is the Chief of the Child and Youth Mental Health Collaborative between the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, The Hospital for Sick Children, and the University of Toronto. The head of one of the largest divisions of child and adolescent psychiatry in the world, Peter is an international expert in autism spectrum disorder and specializes in family-based treatment for children and adolescents with depression, eating disorders, oppositional behaviors, and anxiety disorders. He also holds the Patsy and Jamie Anderson Chair in Child and Youth Mental Health, and is the author of A Mind Apart: Understanding Autism and Asperger Syndrome and the coauthor of Start Here: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children and Teens through Mental Health Challenges.