Author(s): Hoyle JD Jr, White LJ
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Abstract The World Health Organization has estimated that by the year 2020, neuropsychiatric disorders will become one of the five most common causes of morbidity, mortality, and disability among children (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Fact Sheet on Mental Health Issues. www.hhs.gov. 2001). This is a distressing statistic, particularly when many of the mental health disorders are preventable and/or treatable with good prognosis. Children's mental health services and access to them are inconsistent within the United States. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that although 10\% of our nation's children currently suffer from mental illness, only one-fifth of these children receive necessary treatment. (National Institute of Mental Health. Brief notes on the mental health of children and adolescents. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Mental Health, 1999). The purpose of this article is to present summary information from a national consensus conference regarding the current state of emergency mental health resources for children and adolescents. The intended audience includes community health care providers, emergency care workers, and researchers. Major issues explored in this paper include the questions: Are emergency mental health services for children and adolescents readily available in communities? Is access to care possible for all children? Are resources and services in place to ensure that the mental health needs of this vulnerable population are not neglected? The authors would like to see the development of local, regional, and national systems that facilitates coordination between emergency medical services (EMS), emergency medicine, and mental health communities to ensure appropriate local resources are in place and to allow the emergent identification and treatment of mental health needs in the pediatric and adolescent population.
This article was published in Prehosp Emerg Care
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences