Mental health issues affecting one in seven kids in the U.S

Letter to the Editor: End stigma, improve access to youth behavioral health care

Mental health problems in US children are common, according to a new survey, with about one in six children of school age affected. The researchers analyzed knowledge from the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health, a nationwide survey administered to folks of youngsters and teenagers.

The conditions included depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Researchers looking at data from a survey of almost 50 million kids, ages six through 18, filled out by their parents, found that 7.7 million children had at least one mental health condition. They also pose the greatest risk for long-term problems if not treated early, says study senior author Mark D. Peterson, PhD, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

They found seven-point-seven million children had at least one mental health condition. "Mental health disorders are certainly stigmatised conditions and can be very debilitating in terms of healthful growth, especially for children and adolescents", said study co-author Daniel Whitney of the University of MI. Children without current health insurance and those under age 6 were excluded from the analysis. There is a selection of difficulties and challenges for kids and their households in the case of accessing psychological health providers, defined Jennifer Mautone, psychologist within the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences on the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"For parents who are anxious about their child or their teen when they're in a time of crisis, we know that it's very hard and it can be very stressful", Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said. Of these again, only around half received treatment or counselling from a qualified mental health provider in the year prior to the survey. Coverage too is an issue she said.

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The new facility will provide treatment for children in Edmonton and northern Alberta for mental health and substance abuse.

According to data from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, majority of the country faces a severe shortage of practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists, with fewer than 17 providers available per 100,000 children.

There are many systems in this country aimed at caring for children, Robles-Ramamurthy said, including the education system, the health care system, the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system.

Mental health providers build on the existing trust and are able to reach families in a familiar environment, said Mautone, who leads one such program: the Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids Initiative at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

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