Parents dealing with the severe mental illness of a child may feel alone, however a National Institute of Mental Health study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that about 20 percent of U.S. youth will be affected by some type of mental disorder to the extent they have trouble functioning. The data supports the observation from surveys of adults that mental disorders most commonly start in early life.
Researchers from the National Comorbidity Study-Adolescent Supplement conducted a face-to-face survey of more than 10,000 teens ages 13-18. According to these researchers, the percentage of youth suffering from mental health disorders is even higher than the most frequent medical conditions, including asthma or diabetes. These results reiterate the importance of developing prevention strategies and promoting early intervention for at-risk children and adolescents.
More research is needed to understand the risk factors for developing a mental disorder in youth, as well as how to predict which disorders may continue into adulthood. Mental health advocacy is a key way to advance this cause. The National Institute of Mental Health is a government entity and reliant on federal funding. Urge your Senators and Congressmen to fund mental health research appropriately. While you may be well on your journey with mental illness and treatment, there are millions of parents behind you just beginning theirs. Continued study of mental health disorders and treatment benefits us all.
The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-574-5190 for more information.