Improving mental health in young people
Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Locked Bag 10 (35 Poplar Road), Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia, .Psychiatria Danubina (Impact Factor: 1.3). 10/2012; 24 Suppl 3:285-90.
The gap between unmet need and access to care for mental ill-health is wider for adolescents and young people aged 12-25 years than any other age group worldwide. This age group is the peak time of onset for many mental disorders including mood, substance abuse and psychotic disorders. Effective interventions in primary or specialist care are likely to be most cost-effective at this age. Yet in most countries there are few opportunities for young people and their families to gain access to treatment and care for mental ill-health and preventive interventions. This is especially important for young people exposed to trauma and adversity. Few countries give sufficient attention to safeguarding and improving the mental health of young people and few have developed policies and programs to support this. Policy and practice changes suitable for each country have two essential starting points: improved understanding of youth mental health within communities; and involving young people and their families in decisions that affect them. Using information technology to assist care is another desirable feature of modern service development suitable for any environment. New directions and models of care to respond to better awareness and help-seeking and new approaches to health promotion are being developed in several countries, and psychiatrists have a central role in supporting these developments.
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ABSTRACT: There has been increased attention towards the burden imposed by mental disorders on children and adolescents. The present overview explores the current state of child and adolescent mental healthcare provision around the globe. Current research indicates a concerning gap in the provision of care for the child and adolescent population. The disparities between need, demand and access to youth mental healthcare are likely to be even greater in low and- middle-income countries (LAMIC), where the proportion of children and adolescents in the population is higher. The scarcity of available resources for youth mental healthcare, especially in LAMIC, represents a major obstacle to decreasing the impact of mental disorders across the lifespan. Our review highlights the discrepancy between demands and availability of mental healthcare for youth populations throughout the world. We describe some of the potential contributors to the current state of youth mental healthcare, such as problematic access to services, implementation deficiencies and inadequacy of policies. Recent innovative strategies to reduce these barriers are also presented.
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