Families of children with mental health, emotional and behavioral disorders needs often navigate multiple systems to access necessary supports and services. Families may also face additional challenges due to stigma about mental health. PACER’s Inspiring Opportunities Project will bring together parents, youth and professionals to help families receive the resources and support their children need. This project will also promote increased understanding of children’s mental health, emotional and behavioral needs in the broader community.
Among all the dilemmas facing a parent of a child with emotional or behavioral problems, the first question — whether the child’s behavior is sufficiently different to require a comprehensive evaluation by professionals — may be the most troublesome of all. Even when a child exhibits negative behaviors, members of a family may not all agree on whether the behaviors are serious.
Children with mental health, emotional, or behavioral disorders are just like all children in their need to be understood and appreciated for their strengths and talents. They are also just like other children in their need to belong — to their families, school staff, friends, and their communities.
Special services and supports may be needed in order for a child with mental health, emotional or behavioral disorders to succeed in school environments, including the general education classroom. They may need the help of a guidance counselor, teacher, special education teacher, or psychologist to help them adapt to school expectations. They may need changes in the school curriculum (accommodations and modifications) so that they can experience success with school work. They may need employment training to prepare them for the world of work. They may need a friendship or social skills group to help them find a friend. These kinds of services may be provided for any child experiencing a problem.
The Children’s Mental Health and Emotional or Behavioral Disorders Project and PACER Center offer resources, training, and volunteer opportunities for parents who are interested in expanding their skills and understanding on topics that relate to children and youth with mental health or behavioral health challenges.
Workshops and trainings statewide for parents and others who want more information on topics related to parent leadership, mental health, emotional or behavioral disorders, positive behavior interventions and supports, understanding challenging behaviors, proactive crisis planning, 504 Plans and Special Education. Some workshops are live streamed and then archived for later viewing.