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Nearly 1 in 7 US children and adolescents have mental health conditions, and half are not treated, says study



NEW YORK (CNN) – Half of children with mental health conditions in the United States have no treatment, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers reviewed data from the 2016 National Child Health Survey, a national survey administered to parents of children and adolescents. Of the 46.6 million children aged 6 to 18 whose parents completed the survey, 7.7 million had at least one mental health condition – such as depression, anxiety or a lack of attention / hyperactivity – and only half received treatment or counseling from a mental health provider for 12 months prior to the survey.

The number of children with mental health conditions varies from state to state. In Hawaii, for example, 7.6 percent of children have one of the conditions, compared to 27.2 percent in Maine. The number of children with a diagnosis of mental health condition that is not treated by a provider has also reached wide, from 29.5 percent in the District of Columbia to 72.2 percent in North Carolina.

Mark Peterson, associate professor at the University of Michigan Medicine and senior author of the study, has a long history of studying health conditions beginning with childhood and eventually resulting in disabilities.

"Historically, I studied everything from the neck," he said. Peterson said he once again recalled the conditions affecting children from an early age in a wider way, which led him to study mental health. He did not expect to find such high numbers.

But children and young psychiatrists and psychologists are not surprised at the results.

"Unfortunately, this is not a news story for us," Dr. said. Barbara Robles -Ramamurthy, psychiatrist and adolescent Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, who is not involved in the study.

"We know that the number of children with mental illness and who is not being treated is very high," he added.

There are many difficulties and challenges for children and their families when it comes to access to mental health services, explained Jennifer Mautone, a psychologist at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children's Philadelphia Hospital

In some families and communities, mental illness is still seen in a negative light, explained Robles-Ramamurthy.

"We have over the last two decades that have begun to really work in d" Because of this, many families and young people are uncomfortable access to mental health services, "says Mautone .

The next big issue is insurance coverage, said Robles-Ramamurthy. [1

9659002] "There is a widespread variation in what is covered, how much coverage, and people are concerned. Mental health treatment is not usually a once-a-month-old environment, "he said." For families who are struggling to fulfill their needs, costs can be a real challenge. "

Even in states with appropriate provisions for families seeking mental health treatment, qualified providers may not be enough.

According to data from the American Academy of Child and Teen Psychiatry, most of the country faces a serious lack of youth training and youth psychiatrists, with fewer than 17 providers available to every 100,000 children.

This means that many families facing a long waiting period, which can lead to the worries of underlying mental health conditions in the child and finally requires more treatment sessions than if the situation was addressed in The early stages, Mautone explained.

Competent qualified providers are facing another challenge: communicating with other systems that have caring for children.

There are many systems in this country that are aimed at protecting children, said Robles-Ramamurthy, including the education system, the health care system, the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system.

"All these systems that should take care of the children often do not talk to one another," he said. "Many times children are falling into the cracks and families do not get the proper support they need," he added.

In an attempt to provide timely mental health services for children, many children's health systems began to include these services in pediatrician offices.

By introducing themselves to pediatricians, mental health providers build on the existing trust and reach families in a familiar environment, Mautone said, leading to such a program: the Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids Initiative at the Philadelphia Children's Hospital.

"We can easily use, many times the same day, to explain our service, meet the family and start understanding what challenges are," he added.

than 2,500 patients in the last two years and continues to expand. Robles-Ramamurthy said this is a sign of progress but says there's still more to do.

"Psychosocial disorders result in serious consequences in our communities, including high levels of suicide, academic refusal and unemployment," he said. .

Ang-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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