According to a recent report published in JAMA Pediatrics half of children with a mental health condition in the United States go without treatment. Researchers studied data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health. The Finding: Of the 46.6 million children ages 6 through 18 whose parents completed the survey-7.7 million had at least one mental health condition and only half received treatment or counseling from a mental health provider in the previous 12 months. The Child Mind Institute reports that nearly 50 percent of youth in the United States will have had a diagnosable mental illness at some point during childhood. Twenty-two percent will have a serious illness. And, of those afflicted with a mental health disorder only 7.4 percent will see a therapist.
There are several reasons why treatment is not secured; affordability, attached stigma and a shortage of providers in certain geographic locations. In fact, the majority of the country faces a shortage of practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists with fewer than 17 providers per 100 thousand children. On the subject of stigma, much thanks goes to the National Alliance on Mental Illness for educating the public and parents about how to navigate this issue.
Many pediatric care clinics and healthcare systems are now integrating with mental health providers to bring access to more children. Dr. Harold Koplewicz, founder and president of the Child Mind Institute says that “Not only are these kids not getting care now, they’re not getting care tomorrow, or in five years when their symptoms are worse and more complicated. If parents were knowledgeable and unafraid, then early and routine mental healthcare would be the norm.”
Another key fact: Of the roughly 50 million children in public schools- upwards of 20 percent are showing signs of mental health disorder. The majority are not receiving any help from schools in the form of therapy according to the Providence Health Team. Source: Gary R’nel
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