Normal Behavior vs. Warning Signs

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Adolescence can be a complicated and challenging time in the life of a child. It is common and expected for teenagers to have periodic struggles with self-esteem, identity, peer relationships, and emotional regulation. But at what point does normal behavior turn into a warning sign or a more significant concern?

All young people are different, but these signs can indicate that your child is struggling with a more significant mental health issue:

  •   Missing days in school or poor school performance
  •   Avoiding friends and social activities
  •   Loss of interest in hobbies, sports, or activities previously enjoyed
  •   Lack of motivation for fun activities
  •   Sleep disruptions, including insomnia and nightmares
  •   Lack of focus on tasks, or inability to sit still
  •   Seemingly anxious or worried all the time
  •   Lack of energy or sleeping more than usual
  •   Constant irritability or agitation
  •   Engaging in risk-taking behaviors
  •   Smoking, vaping, drinking or drug use
  •   Self-harming behaviors, such as cutting, picking, burning, or hair pulling
  •   Having suicidal thoughts or actionsAs parents, you know your child best. If you notice a marked change in your child’s behavior, please reach out to your child’s doctor, school counselor, or a mental health professional for guidance.

In the event of a mental health emergency, please contact the agencies below or dial 911 and/or proceed to your nearest emergency room.

Jackson County Mental Health

After Hours Emergency 911 816-842-7055

Johnson County Mental Health

After Hours Emergency 913-286-0156 913-715-7700



Research Medical Center- Adolescent Behavioral Health Services

Access Center: 844-207-4511 Phone: 816-444-8161

Preferred County Health Care

Phone: 816-767-8090

Swope Mental Health

Phone: 816-922-1070

Behavioral Health

Truman Behavioral Health

Phone Kansas City: 816-404-5709
Phone Lee’s Summit: 816-404-6170


Phone: 816-254-3652