ROANOKE, Va. – As discussion surrounding mental health for children and teens continues to swirl, Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare is encouraging parents to watch for warning signs such as behavior changes, loss of appetite and sadness.
"Parents should never be timid or embarrassed or ashamed to seek treatment," said Cathy Brown, director of child, youth and family services for Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare.
Brown said time is of the essence when it comes to mental health treatment for youth. Blue Ridge offers immediate intakes at the Burle Center in Roanoke. After that initial visit, a child will have an appointment soon after.
"We think it's very important within the first five days or sooner to meet the family where they are, get into the crisis and to avoid it escalating any further," said Brown.
But sometimes, same-day access is not enough.
"Certainly, if you have a child who expresses that they want to hurt themselves or somebody else you would want to take them to the emergency room," said Brown.
Blue Ridge also works with the local school systems to treat any children who have incidents or breakdowns at school.