Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Challenges in Kids and Teens
Family Resource Brief
Here you will find links to find care, services, and support and websites about emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges in kids and teens. A separate section presents websites about babies and young kids. Another lists websites for teens.
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP): Child
and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder. Online directory of child
and adolescent psychiatrists.
- American Psychological Association (APA): Psychologist Locator. Online directory of psychologists who are APA members.
- American Self-Help Group Clearinghouse: Self-Help Group Sourcebook Online. Information on national and international self-help support groups for chronic
illnesses and disabilities; emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges; and family supports. Includes information about starting self-help
for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR): Find Your Parent Center.
Contact information for the Parent Training and Information Center (PTI)
and Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC) in your state and a national
PTI for military families. PTIs and CPRCs offer information about disabilities,
early intervention (for babies and toddlers), school services (for school-aged
children), therapy, local policies, and much more. PTIs and CPRCs also
offer free advocacy and training on a variety of topics such as advocacy
in schools and how to partner with professionals to meet your child's needs.
CPIR also offers resources on
topics ranging from behavior to transition.
- Family Voices (FV). Family Voices in Your State and Family to Family Health Information Centers (F2F HICs) help families find resources and services to provide and finance health care for their kids.
- Insure Kids Now. Links to each state's child and teen health insurance program website. Available
in English and Spanish. Telephone: (877) 543-7669 (KIDS-NOW).
- Mental Health America: Get Help! Hotline for people in crisis. Telephone: (800) 273-8255 (273-TALK). Also offers
links to those seeking mental health screening, treatment, and help paying
- MentalHealth.gov: How to Get Help. Directories of mental health services and resources in your area. A mental health treatment referral helpline in English and Spanish. Telephone: (877) 726-4727. Also presents contact information for help for veterans and their families and information about health insurance coverage for mental health services.
Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Communities. A set of electronic discussion groups for those affected by mental health challenges.
Includes groups for specific mental health conditions, for teens and young
adults, and for families and caregivers.
- National Association of Social Workers: Find a Social Worker. Links to online directories to find professional social workers who provide individual psychotherapy and other forms of mental health assistance, including group therapy and support groups.
- National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health: Find a Local Chapter. An online directory of local, family-run organizations that provide resources
and advocate for kids and teens with mental health challenges and their
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. A free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional
distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center. Telephone:
(800) 273-8255 (273-TALK); (888) 628-9454 (Spanish); 800-799-4889 (TDD).
- Parent to Parent USA (P2P USA). Contact information for statewide parent to parent programs, which provide emotional support and information to families of kids with special
health care needs, most notably by matching parents seeking support with an
experienced, trained support parent. P2P USA also offers information and help
to parents interested in designing a successful parent to parent program.
- Trevor Lifeline. A free, 24-hour, confidential crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. TrevorChat is a free, confidential, and secure online messaging service that provides live
help with trained volunteers.
- Also see the MCH Digital Library's Community Services Locator: An Online Directory for Finding Community Services for Children and Families.
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP): Facts for Families. Information in English and Spanish on topics like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and suicide.
- Family Voices (FV): IMPACT on Health and Wellness for Families. Information about physical and emotional health and wellness by age group or stages of development and by theme (i.e., family support, child development, mental health, healthy weight, healthy food and eating, physical activity, oral health, healthy sexual development and sexuality, safety and injury prevention, and community relationships and resources).
Articles and tips about how to manage mental and emotional health, family and
relationships, and healthy living. Topics include addiction, ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression,
eating disorders, grief and loss, schizophrenia, stress, suicide prevention, trauma and abuse, and emotional skills.
- MedlinePlus: Mental Health and Behavior. Links to information in English and Spanish about a wide range of emotional,
behavioral, and mental health challenges affecting families. Also see Drugs, Herbs and Supplements to learn about prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies.
- Mental Health America (MHA): Youth and Families. Information about mental health challenges in kids and teens.
- MentalHealth.gov. Information about mental health and the signs of problems, how to seek help, and how to talk about mental health. Features video clips from individuals sharing their stories about mental illness, recovery, and hope.
Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Child and Adolescent Action Center. Legislative news, research information, and resources about advocacy, education,
and support for families affected by mental health challenges. Includes fact
sheets about mental illnesses, Spanish-language materials, and resources about
schools and education, juvenile justice and child welfare, and
services and treatment.
- National Federation
of Families for Children's Mental
Conference, program, and
training information for this national
family advocacy organization dedicated
to helping kids and teens with
mental health challenges and their
families. Some materials are available
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Booklets, fact sheets, and audio and video clips about the diagnosis and treatment of kids and teens
with emotional, behavioral, and
mental health challenges. Some publications are available
- National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse. Tools for organizing and sustaining self-help groups and
for teaching self-advocacy skills
to people with mental health challenges.
Gives information and news about
specific mental health conditions
and general mental health topics
such as the mental health parity law and health reform.
- Think:Kids. Rethinking Challenging Kids: Resources for Parents. Information and tools to help you better understand the difficulties of challenging kids and learn better ways to improve life at home. Resources include training videos, online discussion forums, and a blog.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Learn the Signs. Act Early. Information in English and Spanish about developmental
milestones for babies and kids from birth
to age 5 and a list of signs that
could indicate a developmental
- Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI): Families. Tips on how to make often-challenging events easier to navigate, and even fun,
for caregivers and kids who have or are at risk for problem behavior.
- Zero to Three. Information and tools about challenging behaviors, early childhood mental health, and mental health screening and assessment.
- Center for Young Women's Health. Information for teen girls about ADHD, depression, eating disorders, panic disorders, stress management, and other topics.
A Mental Health Site for Teens.
Information about mental
health challenges and ways to cope with them.
- Mental Health America (MHA): mpower. Information about depression, stress, self esteem, coping
with your parents' divorce, eating disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, and self-injury.
Includes stories from teens and tips on getting help for a mental illness or
substance abuse problem for you or someone you care about.
- TeensHealth: Your Mind. Information in English and Spanish. Topics include anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, self-injury, social phobia, suicide, drug and alcohol use, and more.
- Young Men's Health: Emotional Health. Information for teen guys and young men about anger management, coping with loss, counseling and therapy, depression, eating disorders, panic disorders, self-injury, stress management, and more.
Learn more about emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges in kids and teens and autism spectrum disorders, bullying, child maltreatment, coping with trauma and loss, domestic violence, early childhood, inappropriate use of seclusion and restraints, juvenile justice, kids and teens with special health care needs, medications, military families, parental depression and other mental health concerns, screening, suicide prevention and tobacco, alcohol, and substance use.
Need more information? Use the collection of resources that library staff have put together for you and your family.
Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Challenges in Kids
and Teens: Family Resource Brief, 2nd ed. (July 2011). (Updated: November
Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., MCH Digital Library.
Reviewers: Lauren Agoratus, M.A., Family Voices and Family-to-Family Health Information Resource Center at the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of N.J.; Olivia Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., MCH Digital Library; Judi Siegel, L.I.C.S.W., Children's Hospital Boston; Sandy Swan, M.L.S., M.P.H., C.H.I.S., Phil Johnson Historic Archives and Research Library.
Editor: Ruth Barzel, M.A., MCH Digital Library.