Experts are talking and writing about it, but when it comes to families opening up about mental health, the struggle is evident.

"It's really interesting to think that something so common could be so secretive,” Ed Dickey with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill said.

Fred Cardenas, manager for the Early Child Wellbeing Program at Family Service Association, says many parents have trouble grasping the issue, despite the fact that health issues will impact 80,000 Bexar County children.

"Initially, for many parents there's a sense of denial or defensiveness,” he said.

Now experts are turning to schools as a way to identify kids who need help without singling them out.

"Teachers are the front line for that. They see students more often -- often times more than their parents do,” Kimberly Ridgley, a counselor with Northside Independent School District, said.

Once teachers spot a concern, school counselors can focus on the cause, no matter how simple or complex.

"Grief and loss can be as little as I've lost my homework assignment – and the anxiety that comes from that – to losing a parent or a grandparent,” Ridgley said.

Even when there's a major issue, doctors say parents shouldn't expect the worst.

"Therapy doesn't always include a prescription,” Psychologist Clarity’s Joshua Essery said.

Mental health officials say the prescription for stigma is talking about it no matter how painful.

"Are we talking about how the brain development is going in those important teen years? Are we having important discussions around bullying, depression, anxiety? We need to have those conversations because our kids’ minds matter,” Rebecca Helterbrand with the Clarity Child Guidance Center said.

To help start the conversations, therapists and counselors are working with parents to come up with a healing plan intended to make treating issues easier and take some of the sting out of seeking help.