GRAND RPAIDS, Mich. (WOTV)-Children’s hospitals across the nation are seeing an increase in the number of admissions due to behavioral health needs. Professionals in the mental/brain health field estimate that over 15 million of our nation’s youth may suffer from a mental/brain health disorder. It is time to acknowledge mental health is health and an essential part of a child’s overall wellbeing. Mental/brain health and physical health simultaneously affect how one thinks, feels and acts. Doug Meijer, Dr. Subodh Jain, Vice President of Behavioral Health at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and i understand are working to highlight the need to recognize, treat and talk about these illnesses and pain just as we do all other illnesses. This should be with compassion and understanding. Check in with your children often, have conversations about mental wellness and encourage your child to talk about their feelings. Staying connected gives you the opportunity to offer support, as needed. Click the video player above to watch!

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