Mental Health FAQ
I suspect my child has a mental illness. Where can I turn for help?
Your child’s pediatrician is a logical first stop to rule out any organic cause of the symptoms that concern you. S/he may also be able to refer you to a child psychologist for evaluation. If your child is in school, you may request a comprehensive evaluation, particularly when your child’s education is disrupted by mental health issues. See “special education” for more information on this process.
Other places to contact for information about evaluations of children include:
- Children’s Integrated Services-Early Intervention Program (1-800-800-4005)
- Vermont Dept. of Health’s Children with Special Health Needs and Child Development Clinic (Vermont Department of Health): 108 Cherry Street, Burlington, VT 05402 Voice: 802-863-7200 or, in Vermont 800-464-4343.
- Stern Center: 1-800-544-4863 or 802-878-2332 or http://www.sterncenter.org/
- UVM Dept. of Psychology 802-656-2661.
- Designated agency in your county: See resources & services by county.
- 2-1-1 for information about services in your area.
My child has just been diagnosed with a mental illness. Where can I find support/information?
Vermont Family Network can provide information and assist you as you through the evaluation process. We can also help with school-related and juvenile justice issues. We may also be able to provide a supporting parent match – someone to talk to who has been through the process. Call our helpline at 1-800-800-4005.
Other agencies that provide support and information to families of children with mental illness: Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health 802-244-1955 or http://www.vffcmh.org/index.php, and NAMI-VT: 802 244-1396 or www.namivt.org
My child is in crisis. Who should I call?
Call your crisis line.
My child has threatened suicide. Who should I call?
Call 911. To speak with a counselor, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255), or visit the website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/(exit VDH)
My child has threatened to harm someone. Who should I call?
If harm to others is imminent, call 911. If your child is a threat to him/herself or others, your child may require hospitalization. Begin by calling the crisis line in your area (see above for link.)
My child is not receiving appropriate services at school. What can I do?
Our family consultants can advise you on how to request appropriate school services for your child. Call our helpline at 1-800-800-4005.
My child is in trouble with the juvenile justice system. Where can I find support?
Vermont Family Network can provide information, guidance and support around the juvenile justice process. Please call us at 1-800-800-4005.
I suspect/know my child is abusing drugs/alcohol. Who should I contact?
Mental health issues and drug or alcohol abuse often go hand in hand. For information and referrals, contact the Dept. of Health’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Programs at 802-651-1550, or E-mail: email@example.com . For useful resources, visit their website at http://www.healthvermont.gov/adap/adap.aspx