BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – We hear a lot about adults’ struggles with anxiety and depression, but a doctor at Akron Children’s Hospital says kids can struggle with those, too, and those struggles can go unnoticed.

Dr. Carmen Harlan is a child psychiatrist and says kids at any age can struggle with mental health disorders. She says anxiety and depression might manifest as irritability or not wanting to go to school along with dropping grades and a lack of interest in friends and hobbies.

She says it’s important to keep those lines of communication with your child open and create a space where kids feel safe to express their emotions.

“It might be a family dinner or family game night or maybe a 10 or 15-minute go grab a coffee or hot chocolate,” Harlan said.

Harlan says if you are noticing those signs mentioned, the first step is to talk to your family doctor or to your county board of mental health for resources.