Only half of children diagnosed with a mental health disorder are seen by a professional

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According to a study recently reported online in Pediatrics, only half of the children and young adolescents that possess a diagnosis of a mental health disorder have actually been seen by a professional regarding their symptoms during the past year. According to Kathleen Ries Merikangas, PhD, of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, data utilized from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2001 and 2004 indicate that, among those between the ages of 8 and 15, 13% were recognized as having a mental disorder; however, only 51% of these had sought help from a professional. The NHANES data shows a lower prevalence of mental disorders than is commonly reported. “However, they are quite comparable to findings from other U.S. studies that used similar diagnostic methods and criteria and are strikingly similar to those reported for a community survey conducted at the same time in Houston, Texas,” the researchers reported. Click here to read an article from Medpage Today that discusses this study more.

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