Parents are being advised to watch out for signs of mental health problems in their children, brought on by the recession.
The organisers of the National Mental Healthcare Conference say there has been a 30% increase in the number of children coming forward for treatment in the past two years.
They say financial pressures in the family can lead to withdrawal, social dysfunction and depression among children.
Chairman of the conference - which takes place next month - Dr Ian Gargan says it's easy to see how some parents may miss the signs: "It's difficult for parents to handle everything. They're doing their best, keeping their head down and trying to get through the difficult times.
"It's far more difficult to be aware of and open your mind to the possibility of social dysfunction with their children.
"It's important to realise that there could be something more sinister and serious which could be a threat."