According to a recent studypublished in the Journal Pediatrics, nearly 1 in 7 children between the ages of 6 and 18 suffers from a mental health condition. The study was based on data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health which is a nationwide survey administered to parents. In the survey of the parents of 46.6 million children, 7.7 million had at least one mental health condition. These conditions including things such as depression, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Are They Being Treated?
Data from the study also showed that about half of the children with mental health conditions go untreated. This is a shockingly high number. Although the percentage of untreated children varied by state, there were several factors that contributed to this number.
Some parents and communities attach a stigma to mental health conditions. As a result, families may not feel comfortable accessing mental health resources. In addition, some families do not have insurance or financial resources to seek treatment. Treatment for mental health conditions usually require regular therapy or doctor visits and the costs can add up.
In addition, according to datafrom the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, a majority of the country is facing a severe shortage of mental health providers for children and adolescents. This can lead to families waiting on long lists to receive treatment. Symptoms can worsen while children await care.
More Access to Treatment
In order to get children the treatment they need, many pediatrician’s offices have added a mental health component to their practice. Pediatricians are often the first healthcare providers to recognize the symptoms of a mental health condition in children. If they are able to work closely with mental health providers, this can lead to faster and more effective, integrated treatment for children with mental health conditions.
Untreated mental health conditions in children and adolescents can have serious consequences. It can disrupt their ability to function at home, school, and in the community. This puts them at an increased risk of failing in school, having contact with the criminal justice system and even suicide.
If you or a loved one has a mental disability and has been arrested or convicted of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Elizabeth Kelley specializes in representing individuals with mental disability. To schedule a consultation call (509) 991-7058.