Kids miss mental help
The majority of children with mental health disorders do not get professional help, a study reveals.
Girls, young children and families from non-Englishspeaking backgrounds were found to be the least likely to access services.
The research, led by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, will be published today in the Australian Journal of Psychology and analysed the mental health of nearly 5000 children from the ongoing Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.
For the study, parents reported on their children’s emotional problems in a Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire — the results were then linked with Medicare Benefits Schedule data to see which families had accessed help.
Lead author Professor Harriet Hiscock said less than one in four children with mental health problems saw a professional in the 18 months after they were identified as having a problem.
She said families may have delayed getting help in the hope they would “grow out” of their mental disorder but as the situation worsened they sought treatment.