Survey Finds Half of Children with Mental Health Concerns do not Receive Treatment

Locating and securing mental health treatment services that are not only capable of improving one’s mental well being but which exhibit a high potential to affect great emotional and mental good can be challenging, but children and adolescents are most often faced with having a mental health professional appointed to them by someone else. That is, if they’re able to secure treatment at all; while around thirteen percent of eight to fifteen year olds participating in a national survey on health and nutrition were indicated for symptoms of issues classified in the DSM-IV, less that fifty one percent had received any kind of mental health treatment within the last year, according to an analysis performed at the National Institute of Mental Health.

The survey found that a significant number of children were affected by mental health issues concerning mood, behavior, and other concerns, with a particularly large number expressing symptoms of attention deficit issues. Children with such issues, however, were among those with the highest rates of recent treatment, where as those indicated for mood concerns such as anxiety were least likely to have been treated within the year. Boys, as well as older children, were on average more likely to be treated for their mental health concerns. The program that produced the survey involved personal examinations and information divulged by participating parents.

Though the challenge of securing quality mental health care is becoming more prominent in national discussions on the topic of treatment, the need to educate parents and caregivers about mental health concerns among children and adolescents is made more clear by the survey and its subsequent analysis. With greater attention paid to the needs of children both in the classroom and at home, the mental health community may help to foster happier beginnings to more prosperous lives.

© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Johnna


    December 15th, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    How sad that it is always the children who are the most in need are given the least.

  • A. Kissinger

    A. Kissinger

    December 15th, 2009 at 2:02 PM

    Most people have this mental block that children have it easy in life, that they don’t have any worries and do not go through any problems. But as the world is moving forward at a rapid pace, it is becoming more and more stressful for the kids.

  • peter donalds

    peter donalds

    December 15th, 2009 at 2:17 PM

    with lower resistance and immunity and an increased level of insecurity,i think children are more susceptible to mental health problems,and due to lack of knowledge in this regard,the treatment procedure is not a great read that half the children who suffer from mental health problems do not recieve treatment is just shocking…

  • darren B.

    darren B.

    December 15th, 2009 at 4:12 PM

    Children need the best of healthcare facilities and it is very disappointing that it is not happening. If a child is not treated for a disorder, then he/she will have to live with it for a long time, a duration longer than what an untreated adult would have to live with the disorder!

  • Carol


    December 16th, 2009 at 2:27 AM

    AWARENESS… is the one thing that can change it all. You see,if the parents are aware of the implications and other things, then more cases will be taken note of and more people will seek health careb, which will directly fix the problem, directly killing these dismal numbers.

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Title   Content   Author is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on