We support the empowerment of people by strengthening of the mind.
Mental illness is one of the greatest issues facing our society today. We are here to help support research, community organizations, and treatment facilities that focus on the betterment of mental health. We aim to empower people to conquer their life by increasing self confidence and a focus on their psychological well being.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “an integral and essential component of health”. Mental health is not only the absence of an illness or disorder, but includes a state of well-being where an individual realizes their abilities, can cope with the stresses of life, and function within multiple environments while making a contribution to their community (WHO, 2018). In spite of age differences, research shows that 20% of American children will be diagnosed with a mental illness in comparison to 26% of Americans aged 18 and older (WebMD, 2006; Johns Hopkins Medicine, n.d.). Overall, mental health can be defined as a state of well-being, which includes our emotional, psychological, and social functioning, and our ability to cope with our everyday experiences appropriately.
What is a mental disorder?
Mental illnesses or mental health disorders are tendencies or alterations in thoughts, emotions, or behavior which cause clinically significant distress in multiple areas of an individual’s life (i.e.; socially, within the home, within relationships, or in academics). Mental illness may make it difficult for children to learn, behave within certain settings, or cope with their emotions appropriately. According to Mayo Clinic Staff (2020), children can develop similar mental health conditions as adults, however, their symptoms may present in a different way. Being aware of the warning signs of mental illness may allow for quicker intervention and treatment. Specifically, many adults who have mental disorders often displayed symptoms in their early childhood that were not seen or addressed. As a result, it is important to be familiar with the warning signs of mental illness within children. Identification of mental disorders and earlier use of preventative treatment allows for more effective treatment overall and may prevent more severe, lasting problems as the child develops throughout the stages of their life. Although children or adolescents may display symptoms consistent with specific mental disorders, it is important to note that simply exhibiting certain symptoms does not mean that a child has a mental disorder. In spite of the vast amount of free resources regarding mental disorders and diagnosis, in order to confirm or disconfirm the presence of a mental disorder, psychological assessment from a board certified psychologist familiar with diversity and cultural factors as well as child development is optimal.
How are mental disorders diagnosed?
Within the field of mental health, professionals often utilize psychological assessment measures and interviews with members of the individual's family or teachers. In order to come to a diagnosis, a detailed history of the presenting symptoms and the results of psychological assessment measures may be combined within a written psychological assessment report. Overall, clinicians strive to gain information from multiple sources regarding the child or adolescents functioning within different areas of their life.
One tool which is utilized within the field of mental health to diagnose certain symptoms and behavior is called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition. The DSM-V is the standard classification manual for the diagnosing of mental disorders and illness by mental health professionals. In combination with data from psychological assessment measures, clinicians are able to use a detailed history of the client’s experiences and presenting symptoms in order to come to a better understanding of whether or not a mental health diagnosis is appropriate.