Challenges Of Mental Illness

1179 Words 5 Pages
Many people believe that mentally ill is something you became rather than something you are from the beginning; the idea that children may suffer from a mental illness must mean that something terrible has happened to speed a younger person toward this because it could not have been there all along. But if we recognize that mental illness is something that can affect a person at any age, even without any distinguishable trauma or environmental trigger, might we be able steer a child toward health just as piano lessons can steer a child toward skill? In exploring this idea and some of the challenges facing child mental health, I spoke with Carnation Elementary School counselor, Leanna Koenigs
I asked Ms. Koenigs what her expectations were going into mental health. Originally, she planned to specialize in a narrower field such as marriage and family therapy but later decided that school counseling would give her more of a range of experiences in terms of the
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Ms. Koenig sees a challenge overall in mental health care is care, or more accurately, lack of care, for these students when they become adults. Ideally, our system strives toward having resources available in the schools for these children, as well as resources in general for students. But this care often drops off as children age through the schools and become adults. We need to do a better job as a society. She states, “Mental health is so much more difficult to diagnose and treat than a clear bodily issue where you can clearly see the problem and see the response to treatment (although the brain is for sure part of the body! Just the most complex part); so much of even a neuropsych eval is behavior based. Determining the reason for behavior can be so complex, which makes treatment complex and difficult because often the behavior has a reward or purpose of some kind.” We can make a lot of progress in the young but a diploma does not mean one is ready for

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