Fauquier County

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of the most frequently asked question relating to the Mental Health Association of Fauquier County and mental health issues in general.  Click on the question and you will be taken to the answer.

 

What are the signs of depression?

Persistent sadness, withdrawal from family and friends, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, increased irritability or agitation, changes in eating and sleeping habits (e.g., significant weight loss, insomnia, excessive sleep), frequent physical complaints, such as headaches and stomachaches, lack of enthusiasm or motivation, decreased energy level and chronic fatigue, play that involves excessive aggression toward self or others, or that involves persistently sad themes, indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, recurring thoughts of death or suicide.

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What can parents and other adults do if they suspect a child may have depression?

Talk to the child about how he or she is feeling

Educate yourself - which you've already taken the first step with by reading this

Know the signs for depression, and note the duration, frequency and severity of troubling behavior

If the child is struggling with any combination of the signs for depression for more than two weeks in different settings, then take your child to a mental health professional or doctor.

Ask questions about treatments and services. A comprehensive treatment plan may include psychotherapy, ongoing evaluation and, in some cases, medication. Optimally, the treatment plan is developed with the family, and whenever possible, the child.

Talk to other families in your community or find a family network organization.

For more information, contact your local Mental Health Association or Mental Health America at www.mentalhealthamerica.net or 800-433-5959

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How many children are affected by clinical depression?

Depression affects as many as one in every 33 children - and one in 8 adolescents, according to the federal Center for Mental Health Services. Fortunately, depression is treatable.

Depression and suicide in youth

Left untreated, depression can lead some youth to take their own lives. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 - 24 year olds and the sixth leading cause of death for 5 - to - 14 year olds. Attempted suicides are even more common. By recognizing the signs of depression and suicide and seeking help for a young person, you can save a life.

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What are the signs of suicide?

Four out of five teens that attempt suicide give clear warnings. If you suspect that a child or adolescent is suicidal, look for these signs:

  • Threats of suicide - either direct or indirect
  • Verbal hints such as "I won't be around much longer" or "It's hopeless."
  • Putting affairs in order (for example, giving or throwing away favorite possessions)
  • Sudden cheerfulness after a period of depression
  • Hallucinations or bizarre thoughts.

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What should parents and other adults do if they think a child is suicidal?

Ask the child or teen if he or she feels depressed or thinks about suicide or death. Speaking openly and honestly allows the child to confide in you and gives you a chance to express your concern. Listen to his or her thoughts and feelings in a caring and respectful manner.

Let the child or teen know that you care and want to help.

Supply the child or teen with local resources, such as a crisis hotline or the location of a mental health clinic. If the child or teen is a student, find out if there are any available mental health professionals at the school and let the child know about them.

Seek professional help. It is essential to seek expert advice from a mental health professional that has experience helping depressed children and teens.

Alert key adults in the child's life - family, friends, teachers. Inform the child's parent or primary caregivers, and recommend that they seek professional assistance for their child or teen.

Trust your instincts. If you think the situation may be serious seek immediate help. If necessary, break a confidence in order save a life.

Other Resources

Mental Health America - www.mentalhealthamerica.net - 800-433-5959

1-800-273-TALK. This will connect you with a crisis center in your area.

Covenant House Nin Line - 800-999-9999. This is a 24- hour teen crisis line.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - www.aacap.org - 202-966-7300

American Association of Suicidology - www.suicidology.org - 202-237-2280

Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network - www.spanusa.org - 8880649-1366

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What about consumers and recovery?

Depression can be successfully treated more than 80 percent of the time. (NIMH, 2001)

Thirty-four percent of people with schizophrenia in one study experienced full recovery in psychiatric states and social functioning. (National Empowerment Center, 2000)

What about older adults?

Up to 20 percent of older adults have significant symptoms of depression. (USSG,1999)

Abut 11 percent of adults over age 55 have an anxiety disorder and 0.6 percent have schizophrenia. (USSG,1999)

men account for 83 percent of suicides by people over age 65. (CDC,2001)

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The Mental Health Association of Fauquier County // PO Box 3549 // Warrenton VA 20188 // (540) 341-8732 //  mhafc1@gmail.com