Mental Health and Behavioral Disorders

General resources and prevention

Massachusetts General Hospital

This site was created for – and by – parents, educators, and clinicians working together to support children and teens with mental health conditions.  It has good information for parents regarding a variety of mental health disorders in children and their management at home, at school and with medications.

Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project

Website for the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project has information and resources on all matters of child and adolescent behavioral and mental health.

The Optimistic Child by Martin Seligman, PhD

A book for parents based upon the scientific research regarding the development of resiliency.  While centered upon work with pre-teen to adolescent children, offers valuable and specific advise for all parents on how to help teach their children how to be resilient in the face of challenges or failures.  He discusses his work that demonstrates that when his principles are put into practice, they can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety in teenagers.  Dr. Seligman has been a major figure in the research of “positive psychology.”

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross W. Greene (2010)

Dr. Greene is a Harvard psychologist affiliated who developed the technique of Collaborative Problem Solving—an approach to deal with challenging children.  His book has been updated for 2010 and provides parents practical approaches to handling situations when the child acts “difficult” or “defiant.”

Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them by Ross W. Greene (2009)

Addresses how the “Challenging” child struggles in the very demanding structure of school and provides specific strategies to help parents and teachers work more effectively with these children.  Recommended reading for both parents and teachers.

Lives in the Balance

Non-profit organization that is the home for Collaborative Problem Solving information and checklists.  Official site for Dr. Ross Greene (including a portal for emailing him questions).

Your Defiant Child: 8 Steps Toward Better Behavior by Russell Barkley, PhD (1988)

Provides a straightforward behavioral management model for parents dealing with defiant behaviors.  Geared more toward working with children with mild to moderate behavioral struggles, rather than more severe disorders and provides guidance for parents on how to identify more severe problems.