Study Shows Unequal Mental Health Services for Children
Researchers at the Simon Fraser University’s Children’s Health Policy Centre have recently done a study which revealed that the majority of children with mental health disorders are not receiving assistance to meet their requirements.
Using systematic review methods, experts analyzed 14 prevalence surveys in 11 high-income countries. The research included 61,545 children aged 4–18. They conducted the surveys between 2003 and 2020 in the US, UK, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Australia, Lithuania, Norway, Israel, Taiwan, and South Korea.
They also evaluated service contracts in eight of the 14 trials.
Researchers discovered that out of 12.7% of children (one in eight) who suffer from a mental problem, only 44.2% receive any treatment.
According to the findings, mental health care in most of these countries trails behind that of physical health services.
Charlotte Waddell, SFU health sciences professor, center director, and study author, stated that treating less than half of children with cancer, diabetes, or infectious diseases would be unacceptable to the team.
Mental health issues are most common in childhood and adolescence. If not prevented or treated early, they can have a considerable impact on one’s well-being and development, with consequences that last a lifetime. Moreover, the costs of failing to provide proper mental health care for children are equally high.
The most common childhood mental disorders include:
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—3.7%
- oppositional defiant disorder—3.3%
- substance use disorder—2.3%
- conduct disorder—1.3%, and
Luckily, Waddell claims that effective therapies and preventative programs for all of these disorders and diseases are well-known, so they know how to help children.
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