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Program & Services

Know the Signs

Do you know the signs?


Depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, stress or other concerns can come on suddenly, or so slowly they can be hard to see. One clear indicator is when a child or young person’s emotions or substance use interferes with their ability to be successful at home, school or in the community.

By knowing more about developing symptoms, or early warning signs, you can take steps to reduce the severity of an illness—and possibly even delay or prevent a major mental illness altogether. If several of the following signs or symptoms are occurring, a serious condition may be developing. If you see warning signs, please don’t ignore them. Contact us for help.

Signs of a possible mental health problem in children, adolscents and teens

  • Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others
  • An unusual drop in functioning, especially at school or work, such as quitting sports, failing in school, or difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Problems with concentration, memory, or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain
  • Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
  • Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity; apathy
  • A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality
  • Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in (a young) adult
  • Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling
  • Uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior
  • Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or deterioration in personal hygiene

Source: American Psychiatric Association

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Signs of adolescent and teen alcohol & drug problems

  • Deteriorating grades
  • Persistently irritable or surly attitude
  • Disrespect and unwillingness to follow rules
  • Unexplained depletion of liquor or medication supplies
  • Theft from parents or siblings
  • Evidence of “huffing,” quick depletion of aerosol products, household cleaners
  • Apparent drunkenness or hangovers
  • Change to negative peers
  • Legal problems including underage drinking
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Changes in energy levels, appetites, sleep patterns or hygiene
  • Liquor bottles
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Disappearing for days at a time

Learn more at the Amberwing Family Resource Center

Call us with questions at 218.355.2100

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Above all, we believe in hope and transformation - by doing everything possible to foster that possibility in each of us.
Above all, we believe in hope and transformation — by doing everything possible to foster that possibility in each of us.
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