Is Mental Health Treatment "One Size Fits All"?

Like many physical illnesses, mental illnesses in children require ongoing treatment. Nowadays, though sometimes it's a normal practice for the specialist to start behavioral treatment first to minimize potential side-effect, many treatment options for children are the same as those used in adults yet different dosage.

What can be done to help my child with mental illness?

A treatment approach on whether involving both drugs and psychotherapy is more effective than either method alone depends on your child's situation, for example: behavioral therapy is suggested for mild depression while behavioral and medications are both suggested for major depression.

Psychotropic medications often used to treat major and severe mental disorders in children include antipsychotics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, stimulants, and mood stabilizing drugs.

Psychotherapies for the children and the parents address their emotional responses to mental illness.

Common psychotherapies are:

  1. Behavioral therapy involves practical assistance, such as help organizing tasks or completing schoolwork, or working through emotionally difficult events.
  2. Creative therapies (e.g. art therapy, play therapy) are helpful, especially with young children with troubles in communicating their thoughts and feelings.
  3. Parenting skills training (behavioral parent management training) helps parents learn how to use a system of rewards and consequences to change a child's behavior.
  4. Stress management techniques can benefit parents of children with ADHD by increasing their ability to deal with frustration so that they can respond calmly to their child's behavior.


Better Information Better Treatments

Mental health services for children and adolescents include a wide range of prevention, assessment, counselling, consultation, rehabilitation and referral services facilitated by multiple agencies:

  1. Registered clinical psychologists and counselors with independent or private practice from the Hong Kong Psychological Society
  2. Early Assessment Service for Young People with Psychosis (EASY) Program with an EASY hotline (29-283-283) for enquiries and the referral of cases.
  3. Organizations that provide mental health support include:
    1. Baptist Oi Kwan Social Services
    2. Institute of Mental Health/ Castle Peak Hospital
    3. The Mental Health Association of Hong Kong
    4. New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association
  4. Thought pieces of mental health by clinical psychologists from the Social Welfare Department

In clusters with the mental health professionals, the children with mental illness and family can develop new skills and positive attitudes to face this challenge.


  1. Mental Illness in Children (8 February, 2017)

Mind+ Critical Illness Protection Plan

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