Sudden mood changes, feelings of sadness, lack of interest in activities, and self-isolation are just some of the warning signs that a young person could be suffering from a co-occurring disorder. Looking for symptoms of both mental illness and substance abuse can help identify the issues facing children and youth.
How to Help
Protective factors, such as maintaining positive family relationships, reducing risks of early adversity, and staying connected with counselors and teachers in school can reduce the risk of a child developing co-occurring disorders. Early detection and treatment are the best ways to manage mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Both issues should be addressed at the same time, with a comprehensive coordinated approach.
If a young person in your life is struggling with a mental health condition and/or is misusing substances, call the Behavioral Health Access Helpline at 1-888-7WE-HELP.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA)
- Visit SAMHSA to locate substance abuse and mental health treatment services.
- Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) Services:
- Families First offers a range of mental health treatments for children in the district.
- Healthy Futures provides consultation to children and families in child development centers to manage a child’s emotional and behavioral health issues.
- To learn more about mental health resources available in your youth’s school, visit the School Behavioral Health Program.
- Visit or call the Substance Use Disorder Assessment and Referral Center (ARC) at 202-727-8473. [Adults Only. Walk-ins Only.]
- Drug or Alcohol Treatment Services for Teens and Young Adults offers a list of community-based providers to youth seeking help.