They say help is readily available if a child needs mental health assistance and that parents shouldn’t wait.
Lurie Children’s Hospital Center for Childhood Resilience Executive Director Dr. Colleen Cicchetti urges parents to trust their gut.
She says a change in mood, sleep or eating cycles should be addressed with their pediatrician.
If parents notice direct threats or plans for violence from their child, they should speak with school counselors or dial 911.
"We're seeing in 911 call centers, like in Chicago, we have now a social worker on site, 24 hours a day. If a parent is really concerned about an emerging issue or an emergency they should call them," said Dr. Cicchetti.
She also recommends reaching out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
The number to call is 1-800-950-NAMI, or helpline@NAMI.org by email.