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Hope for Parents and Caregivers Seeking Mental Health Answers for Children and Youth

We’re glad you’re here.

Supporting a child with mental health needs is exhausting and overwhelming. Choose Mental Health brings clarity to a journey heavy with uncertainty.

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Basic steps to help a child

The right mental health solution varies by person. Each of the following Steps are designed to inform parents and caregivers how to move forward with treatment, conversations and next steps.

Step 1

Mental Health Journey

Children’s mental health needs have a proven path. This video shows the typical path of treatment options.

Step 2

Free Assessment

This assessment gives parents and caregivers answers about the severity of mental health needs in children and youth.

Step 3

Next Steps & Answers

Knowing what to do next is important.

Mental Health Continuum of Care

Page through the following slides to learn about the treatment journey, or Continuum of Care, options 1 through 6. Each option increases treatment for the needs of the individual.

1. Practice Health Habits Independently

Choose a lifestyle filled with healthy habits. Learning and practicing positive self-care is important. Learn from our self-help library.

Learn about Self-Help

2. Local Therapist (or Online)

Mental health support, first steps. Asking the right questions will help you find the right therapist. Often covered by insurance.

Find a Local Therapist

3. Intensive Outpatient (IOP)

Therapy at this level is for more severe needs. Finding either online or local providers can make a big difference. IOP is similar to a Local Therapist but has a more “wrap-around” approach whether in-person or online. Sessions are 3-5 times per week and focus on stabilization and support. The IOP process, similar to a Local Therapist, is regularly covered by insurance.

Find a Provider

4. Wilderness Treatment— First Stop for Inpatient

It helps children and youth to understand that they need help. A wilderness experience is important for youth as they need to see that their needs can’t be blamed on friends, parents, family, drugs, etc. It is their problem to face. Not usually covered by insurance.

Our Programs

5. Inpatient Residential Treatment Care (RTC)

RTCs teach skills, tools and stabilizes meds. Many RTCs prefer a student with wilderness experience. Not usually covered by insurance.

Find a Treatment Center

6. Hospitalization

Hospitalization is an option at any level but is used less than all the other options. Proactive treatment, healthy habits and med control can help prevent a hospitalized visit.

When is hospitalization needed?

Find a Mental Health Provider

Choose Mental Health makes it easy to get started on your mental health path.

Click on the following resources to find a provider in your area who can help.

Providers listed are not associated with Choose Mental Health.

Self-Help Resources

Learn about various conditions from curated articles, videos, blogs and podcasts sorted by specific mental health condition or select ALL to search all topics available.



ADHD is one of the most common disorders of childhood. It is first seen in childhood and can last into adulthood.



Although a natural response to fear or survival, when it becomes a problem is when someone has trouble controlling it or seeing it as an appropriate response.



Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease, usually around an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Found in every age and gender.

personality disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder causes extreme mood swings from emotional highs (mania) to lows (depression).



A common and serious mental illness that negatively affects how people feel, they way they think and how they act.

disruptive behavior

Disruptive Behavior

Behaviors that occur when a child or youth has difficulty controlling their actions. This is often tied to an uncomfortable setting like social or being put "on the spot" or embarrassed.

eating disorders

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are behavioral conditions which might surface as severe and persistent eating behaviors and possible distressing thoughts and negative emotions. This can range from problematic to serious, affecting physical, psychological and social function. It is important to address early.

gender dysphoria

Gender Dysphoria

A state of unhappiness or distress that ranges from mild to severe, caused by one's gender where the personal identity does not match their biological birth sex. 



Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder—having a tendency towards excessive cleanliness, perfectionism, or orderliness and often creates great attention to detail.

self harm


An expression of feelings, frustrations, anger and other emotions into something that is tangible or visible. It can transition emotional pain into physical and can create a physical release. A serious condition that is often hidden by clothing.

social dysfunction

Social Dysfunction

Problems such as shyness, anxious around people, or missing social cues are examples of social dysfunction. Because social norms vary from one culture to another, social dysfunction can have several meanings.

substance abuse

Substance Abuse

Using legal or illegal substances to help ease emotional turmoil. It is used to escape reality and a common path used by children and youth because of ease of access.



Trauma is more common than stats and data can measure because it can happen anywhere and is often untreated. It results from exposure to an incident or events that are emotionally disturbing or life-threatening that causes a lasting adverse effect.

a mother hugging her young adult son

“Choose Mental Health gave my son the gift of life that I could not afford. I was desperate to do anything to save him and now he is my miracle.”

– A grateful mother

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a group counseling session with five people

How can you help?

Get your GIVE on and help us solve the children’s mental health crisis in America. Over 30 MILLION children and youth are struggling with chronic or severe issues after the pandemic. We are the national voice for children’s mental health, giving help and hope to parents and caregivers. “Choose” to get involved and spread the good word of mental health.

How to Get Involved