Kids’ men­tal health is­sues cause for con­cern

Western Times - - LIFE | FAMILY MATTERS -

ALARMING new re­search has con­firmed what many par­ents fear: the men­tal health cri­sis in our chil­dren isn’t go­ing away. In fact, it’s on the rise.

A new study has re­vealed the num­ber of chil­dren who pre­sented to emer­gency de­part­ments in Vic­to­ria with men­tal health is­sues has tripled over a seven-year pe­riod (2008–2015). That’s 52,000 chil­dren in Vic­to­ria alone.

The study, con­ducted by the Mur­doch Chil­dren’s Re­search In­sti­tute, and pub­lished in the Med­i­cal Jour­nal of Australia, looked at chil­dren from birth to 19 years. It found that be­tween 2008 and 2015, 52,000 chil­dren pre­sented to Vic­to­rian pub­lic hospi­tal emer­gency de­part­ments statewide with men­tal health dis­or­ders.

The most com­mon con­di­tions were self-harm, drug and al­co­hol is­sues, and then mood dis­or­ders.

The study’s au­thors sug­gested so­lu­tions in­clud­ing:

● Pub­lic health cam­paigns to help im­prove men­tal health lit­er­acy in care­givers.

● Fur­ther train­ing for GPs and other health pro­fes­sion­als in how to recog­nise and support fam­i­lies with chil­dren who have men­tal health is­sues.

● Pro­vid­ing com­mu­ni­ty­based men­tal health ser­vices for chil­dren un­der 12.

For more, visit www.kidspot.com.au.

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