Children's mental health service use across service sectors.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.
Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.32). 02/1995; 14(3):147-59. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.14.3.147
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This DataWatch explores the roles of human service sectors (mental health, education, health, child welfare, and juvenile justice) in providing mental health services for children. The data are from the first wave of the Great Smoky Mountains Study of Youth, a population-based study of psychopathology and mental health service use among children. The results show somewhat higher rates of mental health service use than has been reported previously, while continuing to show a substantial amount of unmet need, even among children with both a psychiatric diagnosis and functional impairment. The findings point to a significant role for the education sector, suggesting that schools may function as the de facto mental health system for children and adolescents.

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