All children have both physical health needs and mental health needs. It is sometimes hard for parents to know if a behavior is normal or may be a deeper problem.


Anger, fear, sadness, withdrawal or opposition to authority are emotions felt and expressed by most children and adolescents. Some children display negative behavior with greater intensity, more often and with less reason. Behaviors that may point to deeper problems include, but are not limited to:

·         Acting out behavior

o   Self abusive

o   Aggressive

o   Violent

o   Disruptive

o   Cruel

·         Withdrawing behavior

o   Fears

o   Depression

o   Anxiety

o   Refusing to talk

o   Acting younger than age

·         Defensive behavior

o   Lying

o   Cheating

o   Manipulating others

o   Avoiding others

·         Disorganized behavior

o   Out of touch with reality

o   Seeing or hearing things that are not there

o   Disconnected thinking or acting

·         Eating disorders

o   Poor body image

o   Preoccupation with weight loss

o   Self-induced vomiting or use of laxatives or diuretics


The “Minnesota Comprehensive Children’s Mental Health Act” recognized that children do not always get the services they need. Yellow Medicine County Family Service Center provides case management services to assist eligible children and their families. The case manager will assist in a referral for a diagnostic assessment to determine the child’s mental health needs. A team approach is used to coordinate the services provided by all persons who are involved in the care, counseling, education and treatment of the child.


Parents will be expected to participate in developing a comprehensive plan based on the child’s and family’s unique strengths and needs. This plan will be reviewed on a regular basis to determine if the goals for the child are being met and if other services are needed.


Case management is voluntary and may be accepted or refused by parents. If these services are refused, other mental health services and community resources continue to be available to the family, if desired.


A variety of services are available and may be provided, based on the individual needs of the child and family. They include, but are not limited to:

·         Individual case coordination and case management

·         Diagnostic assessment and evaluation

·         Psychological testing

·         Educational consultation and individual education planning

·         Family-based therapy

·         Respite care services

·         Crisis assistance

·         Coordinated treatment planning

·         Advocacy for the child and the family

·         Financial assistance referrals

·         Court intervention services

·         Information and referral

·         Parent education

·         Medication monitoring

·         Development of independent living skills

·         Assistance with leisure and recreational activities


Children or adolescents must be younger than 18 years of age, have a defined emotional or behavioral problem and meet the criteria for having a severe emotional disturbance (SED) as determined by a mental health professional. Factors which determine eligibility include:

·         Severity of mental health needs

·         Past inpatient or residential treatment, or risk of needing such treatment in the future

·         Risk of child harming self or others

·         Symptoms as a result of physical or sexual abuse in the past year

·         Effects on the child’s functioning in the home, school and community