Public Health Implications of Untreated Child Mental Illness

Mental health is an important public health objective.

Through appropriate identification, evaluation, and treatment, youngsters suffering mental illness can be helped and in many cases, cured. They can achieve success in school, in work and in family life. Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of children with mental disorders fail to be identified, lack access to treatment or supports and thus suffer chronically and needlessly. This causes public health to suffer. Significant stigma associated with mental health persists and millions of young people in this country have been left behind. Half of all lifetime cases of mental disorders begin by age 14 (NIMH, 2005). Despite effective treatments, there are long delays, sometimes decades, between the first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment. An untreated mental disorder can lead to a more severe, more difficult to treat illness and to the development of co-occurring mental illnesses.

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It is imperative to public health that the community have access to mental health services. Therapy is an important part of the public support system. Just as healthcare for physical ailments is deemed a priority, healthcare for emotional ailments should be taken with the same degree of importance.

EMPOWER Centers offers a full array of services, and depending on availability and need, even offers subsidized services for low-income qualifying families. Contact EMPOWER today to learn more.

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