Almost 8 million US Kids Have Mental Issues

Funding finalized for new Edmonton mental health centre for children

New children and youth mental health centre moving ahead in Edmonton

Almost half of an estimated 7.7 million children in the United States with at least one mental health disorder did not receive needed treatment from a mental health professional in 2016, a new report finds.

Researchers assessed the prevalence of diagnoses and treatment for childhood mental health problems based on data from the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health, a nationally representative parent-proxy survey of USA kids under 18 years old.

Survey respondents answered whether their children had ever been or were now diagnosed with a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

"When a child or teen is struggling with a mental health crisis or needs specialized emotional supports, they need help as quickly as possible", said Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health, in a media release Monday morning.

Then, the survey also asked parents who reported a mental health condition: "During the past 12 months, has this child received any treatment or counselling from a mental health professional (including) psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, and clinical social workers?"

Mark Peterson, affiliate professor at the University of Michigan Medicine and senior writer of the research, has a protracted historical past of learning health circumstances that begin in childhood and end in disabilities afterward in life.

But child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists weren't at all surprised by the results.

The next big issue is insurance coverage, Robles-Ramamurthy said.

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.

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

Parents responded to a prompt: "Has a doctor or other health care provider EVER told you that this child has" a mental health disorder.

This means many families face long wait times, which can, in turn, lead to worsening of the underlying mental health condition in the child and an eventual need for more treatment sessions than if the condition had been addressed in its early stages, explained Mautone. Mautone said in her statement, "All of these systems that are supposed to be caring for children often times are not talking to each other".

The study wasn't a controlled experiment created to prove whether or how specific factors might directly impact how many kids are diagnosed or treated for mental health disorders. They concluded, "Initiatives that assist systems of care coordination have demonstrated a reduction of mental health-related burdens across multiple domains".

Latest News