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Health Matters: Understanding Mental Health in Children

By NBC-2, 05/30/19, 12:00PM CDT

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Tackling an important topic to help children and families get the care they need.

When it comes to mental illness, there can be many misunderstandings and preconceptions. “We’re really trying to get people to understand what mental illness is so they can appropriately address it, and get rid of that prejudice or stigma around folks with mental illness so they can get into treatment,” said Richard Keelan, a child advocacy program coordinator with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Through programs like Mental Health First Aid, Parenting the Exceptional Child, and Mental Health Matters, Keelan educates adults on the signs and symptoms of mental illness. “It also gives you the skills to intervene in a crisis just like First Aid or CPR would for medical issues,” he said. He educates and trains families, caregivers, daycare workers, teachers, youth group leaders, and all Lee Health physician groups on how to identify and manage children with mental illness.