Mental illness is a real issue facing many of today's youth. In the U.S. alone, approximately 5 million children have some type of serious mental illness. Unfortunately, only 20% of those affected youth are identified and receive the mental health services they need. The sad truth is that of one in five children with a mental health disorder, only a third get the attention they need. These mental health problems have a direct adverse impact on the child's life by interfering with his/her normal development, impairing learning and interfering with daily life activities.
Just how prevalent are childhood mental health disorders in the U.S.?
- Approximately 5 percent of children and up to 8 percent of adolescents in the US suffer from depression.
- Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems that occur in children and teens.
- Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children and adolescents. Studies report that it affects about 4.1 percent of youth age 9 to 17.
- Approximately 46% of adolescents age 13 to 18 have had some form of mental health problem and 21% of teens age 13-18 have a serious disorder.
According to the National Institutes of Health the top mental health disorders plaguing today's children ages 8-15 are:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Mood Disorders
- Conduct Disorder
- Anxiety Disorder
- Eating Disorder - i.e., such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.
The key to helping today's children affected with a mental disorder is early identification and treatment.
National Institute of Mental Health Disorders http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml
National Institutes of Health http://nih.gov/