Parents and other family members are often the first to notice changes but may find it difficult to talk about them. They may also be embarrassed about seeking help or not know where to go for help. Instead they may decide to wait, hoping that problems will sort themselves out. But for most mental health problems, seeking early help has the best results. If you are unsure about your child's health, it is best to seek professional advice.

As a first step, you may prefer to talk to someone you trust such as your general practitioner, someone in your local community health centre, your child's teacher, school counsellor, or your religious adviser. Effective help for children and teenagers generally involves short-term counselling or therapies. These are usually based in the local community with as little disruption to school and family life as possible.