Majority of Youth with Mental Disorders May Not Be Receiving Sufficient Services

13 Jan

The National Institute of Mental Health in the U.S. posts periodic science news stories. A recent article, Majority of Youth with Mental Disorders May Not Be Receiving Sufficient Services, caught my eye. I’ll quote a few paragraphs here, but it is worth following the link to the short article.

Inequities in service delivery, be it by age, gender, ethnicity, geography or other reason really bother me.

The article starts out:

A substantial proportion of youth with severe mental disorders do not receive mental health care, according to data from an NIMH-funded survey published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

and here are the results:

About 36 percent of youth with any lifetime mental disorder received services, and only half of these youth who were severely impaired by their mental disorder received professional mental health treatment. The majority (68 percent) of the children who did receive services had fewer than six visits with a provider over their lifetime.

Service use was highest among those with ADHD (60 percent), and behavior disorders like conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder (45 percent). Among those with mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder, 38 percent received services, and 18 percent of those with an anxiety disorder received services. In addition, 15 percent of those with a substance use disorder received services, and 13 percent of those with an eating disorder received services.

Girls were more likely to receive services for anxiety disorders, and boys were more likely to receive services for ADHD. Racial and ethnic minorities were less likely than non-Hispanic whites to receive treatment for any mood or anxiety disorder, and less likely to receive mental health treatment in general than their white counterparts.

We as a people need to do better. Times are only getting tougher economically but we have to close the gap on inequities such as this.

6 Responses to “Majority of Youth with Mental Disorders May Not Be Receiving Sufficient Services”

  1. livsparents January 14, 2011 at 02:09 #

    While you guys ‘fiddle’ with the one uppmanship between Wakefield and Deer…Rome still burns…and special needs are the first thing thrown on the fire when times go bad. Get off your Philosphical and Phanatical Phannies and Phight against the real enemy…the real world outside of the autism community squeezing services for special needs citizens right out of existence…

    • Sullivan January 14, 2011 at 19:24 #


      I agree. I was moving away from this nonsense (check the history of this blog for the past couple of months) before the BMJ story hit. I spent more time on this than I should–and it isn’t over yet. Another installment next week.

      Part of this is because I have to dig through this stuff anew to make myself understand each time the extent of the misconduct. A part of my brain just rejects the idea that a man would do this and continue on the path for so long. Did he believe no one would ever find out? Did he think about the consequences, in real human terms?

  2. livsparents January 15, 2011 at 05:42 #

    Problem is that every time this sediment is kicked up, it allows the talk to continue around vaccines and autism. All around, IMHO some ‘petty criminal’ when it comes to the grand scientific crime scheme. It continues to allow THE autism discussion to revolve around vaccines. We have a lot of people, on both sides mind you, focusing an inordinate amount of time fighting the issue under the banner of autism. Imagine if that energy went towards insurance coverage, or decent group homes, or the very REAL medical/psychological mishandling of autistic patients’ issues? We only need focus power and effort outward rather than inward, and we can change disparities related to neurological issues…


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