An Increase of Mental Health Issues in Children

A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics and covered in News Medical Life Science reviewed a study regarding increased mental health issues in children.  The study states that one in seven children are affected by some type of mental health issue.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan reviewing the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health.  The survey was taken by parents of children and adolescents between the ages of 6-18. The results showed 7.7 million children had at least one mental health condition.

The mental health conditions included:Diagnosis Child

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders

It was reported that the prevalence of mental health conditions in children vary from state to state:

  • In Hawaii, 7.6 percent of children are suffering from one of these mental health conditions
  • In Maine, 27.2 percent of children are suffering from one of these mental health conditions

It was also reported, “The number of children with a diagnosed mental health condition who weren't treated by a provider also ranged widely, from 29.5 percent in the District of Columbia to 72.2 percent in North Carolina.”

The national average of untreated mental health conditions among children is a little over 49 percent.

Scientists were surprised by the high numbers.  However, child psychologists were not as surprised by these numbers citing the social stigma that often accompanies families seeking treatment as well as the cost or availability of services in rural areas.

There are also challenges with the communication between the education system, the juvenile justice system, child welfare system, and the health care system.  Dr. Mautone, a psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia states, “All of these systems that are supposed to be caring for children often times are not talking to each other. A lot of times kids fall through the cracks and families are not getting the appropriate support they need.”

The study concludes "In children, mental health disorders have deleterious consequences on individual and socioeconomic factors and can impede healthful transitioning into adulthood, and the incidence of mental health disorders has been increasing over the decades." And "Initiatives that assist systems of care coordination have demonstrated a reduction of mental health-related burdens across multiple domains."

Are you concerned about the level or quality of support your child with ADHD is receiving?

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the mental health issues cited in the study. There is often comorbidity with ADHD and other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Play Attention can help your child develop the cognitive skills necessary for strong executive function and self-regulation.  Call now and learn how our attention specialists can assess your child’s specific needs and develop a customized program that will unlock your child’s potential. 800-788-6786