Catholic Family Services (CFS) provides a wide range of clinical services including child and adolescent mental health services. During difficult times an objective, professionally trained therapist can be of great assistance. We are here to help your child/ adolescent in working through their problems. CFS has a psychiatrist on staff to provide medication if necessary when therapy is not enough. Access to this service is easy. Just call the office nearest you. The most important and sometimes the most difficult part, is getting started. The staff of CFS is here to help you and your family. Mental health is an important part of overall health for children as well as adults. For many adults who have mental disorders, symptoms were present—but often not recognized or addressed—in childhood and adolescence. For a young person with symptoms of a mental disorder, the earlier treatment is started, the more effective it can be. Early treatment can help prevent more severe, lasting problems as a child grows up. It can be tough to tell if troubling behavior in a child is just part of growing up or a problem that should be discussed with a health professional. But if there are behavioral signs and symptoms that last weeks or months, and if these issues interfere with the child’s daily life at home and at school, or with friends, you should contact a health professional.
Young children may benefit from an evaluation and treatment if they: Have frequent tantrums or are intensely irritable much of the time; often talk about fears or worries; complain about frequent stomachaches or headaches with no known medical cause; are in constant motion and cannot sit quietly (except when they are watching videos or playing videogames); sleep too much or too little; have frequent nightmares, or seem sleepy during the day; are not interested in playing with other children or have difficulty making friends; struggle academically or have experienced a recent decline in grades; repeat actions or check things many times out of fear that something bad may happen.
Older children and adolescents may benefit from an evaluation if they: Have lost interest in things that they used to enjoy; have low energy; sleep too much or too little or seem sleepy throughout the day; are spending more and more time alone and avoid social activities with friends or family; fear gaining weight, or diet or exercise excessively; engage in self-harm behaviors (e.g., cutting or burning their skin); smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs; engage in risky or destructive behavior alone or with friends; have thoughts of suicide; have periods of highly elevated energy and activity, and require much less sleep than usual; say that they think someone is trying to control their mind or that they hear things that other people cannot hear.
Mental illnesses can be treated. If you are a child or teen, talk to your parents, school counselor, or health care provider. If you are a parent and need help starting a conversation with your child or teen about mental health, Visit http://www.mentalhealth.gov/.
Catholic Family Services specializes in working with the broad scope of situations in which your child or adolescent may be currently dealing with. Contact us via phone or website so that we may connect you with the therapist most suited to your needs. After the initial phone call your therapist will direct you to which forms to fill out and bring with you to your first appointment. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our therapist, have any questions, please call our Birmingham Office at 205-324-6561 or call our Huntsville office at 256-536-0073or call our Florence Office at256-768-1550 if you would like to email us for more information please do so at infoCFS@bhmdiocese.org.