About Children's Mental Health
1 in 5 children suffer from a mental health problem
Mental illness is prevalent among infants, children, and youth. Children today face more complicated problems at increasingly younger ages. Many problems that exist today were unheard of 20 years ago.
Mental health problems can happen to children from any walk of life.
Untreated mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and conduct disorders can lead to family crises, school disruption, violent behaviour, or even suicide.
Only 1 out of 5 children who need help, receive help
A variety of factors prevent families from getting help when they need it, including:
- A shortage of child psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers
- Stigma and misunderstanding about children’s mental health
- Lack of knowledge about available options
Early treatment offers the best results
The need for service is usually immediate. Unfortunately, the help is not. Some families must wait as long as a year for treatment to begin, experiencing overwhelming stress and desperation as they confront the daily needs of a child in distress.
Most mental illness first appears in childhood or adolescence. Left untreated, mental health problems tend to grow worse as children age. Those who get help early benefit the most from treatment.
Treating children’s mental health problems now will save money later
Treatment can cost up to $100,000 per child annually. But for every dollar spent on mental health in early childhood, seven dollars are saved in future social and health care related costs.
Children’s mental health can affect everyone
Children’s mental health problems can impact entire communities, with disruptive and often dangerous results.
Mental health programs benefit not just children, but also their families, schools, and the communities in which they live.
Mental health treatment is advancing
Technology offers the promise of exciting new developments in children’s mental health. Genetics, neuro-imaging, and medication research all have the potential to radically improve understanding and treatment of mental illness in the young.
In the field of infant psychiatry, standardization of assessment tools, improved diagnostic criteria, and early intervention/prevention strategies present similar opportunities.
ABOUT THE HINCKS-DELLCREST CENTRE
The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre:
Serving children, supporting families, strengthening communities
The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre is a non-profit children’s mental health centre offering a comprehensive range of mental health services to infants, children, youth, and families.
The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre specializes in three main areas of activity: