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Marlene B. Huff PhD, LCSW University of Kentucky Department of Pediatrics Division of Adolescent Medicine.

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Presentation on theme: "Marlene B. Huff PhD, LCSW University of Kentucky Department of Pediatrics Division of Adolescent Medicine."— Presentation transcript:


2 Marlene B. Huff PhD, LCSW University of Kentucky Department of Pediatrics Division of Adolescent Medicine

3 Improving Teen Mental Health Presentation at Tates Creek High School Lexington, KY

4 No help = Pain Suffering Failing

5 At least 1 in 5 children and adolescents has a mental health disorder 1 in 10 has a serious disorder 90% of people who develop a mental disorder show warning signs during their teen years

6 HELP = Better academic achievement Less substance abuse Improved chances for their future

7 Everyone Can Make a Difference Every Adult School Staff Parents


9 Angry or aggressive behaviors

10 Poor concentration

11 Increased tardiness or absences

12 Withdrawn

13 Anxious

14 Typical? Troubled?

15 Complex period of rapid change, transition Challenges: fitting in, defining identity, competing demands (school, home) Sometimes - other home issues (divorce, violence or substance abuse) Bottom line: May display alterations of mood, distressing thoughts, anxiety, and impulsive behavior. Typical Teens

16 Experiencing more than normal developmental challenges, inability to form healthy relationships Without treatment, more likely to have serious problems: Academic Relationships Employment Troubled Teens

17 + environment What causes mental health disorders? biology

18 As you NOTICE signs, ask yourself, are they: FREQUENT ? – (e.g., student is quiet, withdrawn over multiple days/weeks) EXTREME ? – (e.g., violent outburst, aggressive behavior) If either: TALK with student ACT by communicating what you’ve seen/heard with school MH staff

19 Mood disorders Anxiety disorders Psychotic disorders Behavioral/disruptive disorders Teen Mental Health Disorders

20 CLINICAL DEPRESSION Deep despair, sadness, crying 1 in 13 teens experience symptoms BIPOLAR DISORDER Extreme changes from happy to sad 1 in 100 teens have it Hard to diagnose, looks like depression

21 ANXIETY DISORDERS Overwhelming fear with no cause Risk is greater with family history EATING DISORDERS Unrealistic thoughts about weight 1 in 20 teens suffer; 90% females Untreated it can result in hospitalization or death

22 SCHIZOPHRENIA Strange thoughts, unusual behaviors High functioning, then big decline Distrustful, no longer social, voices ADHD Problems paying attention Can seriously impact ability to learn

23 OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER Stubborn, argumentative, hostile Major distraction in the classroom CONDUCT DISORDER Verbal/physical aggression Junior sociopaths End up in detention centers

24 Marked change in school performance Inability to cope Physical complaints Sexual acting out Depression Abuse of alcohol/ drugs Intense fear of becoming obese Nightmares Threat to harm self or others Self-injury/ Cutting Frequent outbursts Threats to run away Aggression Unusual behavior

25 PsychiatristsPsychologists Mental Health Counselors

26 Ineffective Coping Drugs Sex Alcohol Cutting












38 EFFECTIVE TREATMENT Therapy, Medication – Sometimes combination works best No “silver bullet” or quick fix – timeframe depends on: – Severity of disorder – Temperament of child – Family & school support

39 MEDICATION Used to: – Improve daily functioning – Prevent serious symptoms – Enable therapy to be more effective Must be used appropriately and only under care of psychiatrist or other physician

40 Effective Mental Health Treatment Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) Family Therapy Group Therapy THERAPY

41 External Referral Process When help is needed beyond our school...


43 Changing a Life’s Course

44 More Resources for You – (American Psychiatric Association) Other Resources – (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)

45 Thank you!

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