Bringing attention to the ever-changing, growing substance abuse epidemic in Oklahoma, A Chance to Change's Iona Cunningham had the chance to educate Oklahomans through two different media outlets this week and was featured on Wednesday night's KOCO 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm newscasts where she talked with Paul Folger about identifying when your child or children could benefit from a mental health and/or addiction assessment. Iona gave concrete advice on ways to identify issues or changes with your child:
- Are they sleeping more or less?
- Are they irritable, angry or unusually moody?
- Are they hanging out with a new group of kids?
- Are they avoiding you or other adults?
- Are they expressing themselves differently than usual, i.e., shouting, being quite when they are usually chatty, etc.?
- Have they lost interest in activities?
- Are they unusually energetic or lethargic?
Iona advises all parents to "trust your gut." She says that you as their parent know your child best, if you suspect something is wrong, air on the side of caution and have your child come in to A Chance to Change for an assessment. Better safe than regretful!
Most of all, believe in yourself as a parent and be gentle on yourself.
KOCO news story HERE