Lack Of Mental Health Professionals Hampers Treatment Options For Children
Not a single state has what professional groups deem a sufficient number of child psychiatrists, The Washington Post reports. Also, a presidential task force makes recommendations to bring mental health care to the same level as physical care.
The Washington Post:
There’s A Shortage Of Child Psychiatrists, And Kids Are Hurting
Pediatrician Karen Rhea said she found it “gut-wrenching” to see young people in psychiatric crisis: a teen who overdosed, the one with mental illness who landed in jail, the high school senior who tried to kill herself by crashing her car. With a population of about 20,000 then, Franklin, Tenn., where she practiced, had no child and adolescent psychiatrists, so Rhea spent long hours searching for inpatient care, phoning judges, looking for mental-health specialists in Nashville 20 miles away. ... And limited access to mental health care has far-reaching consequences. The longer that psychiatric illness or family dysfunction goes on, the more difficult it is for the child to succeed, Rhea said. Untreated problems can lead to difficulties in school, and that, she said, hurts self-esteem, limits social skills, hinders relationships and creates the view in a family that the child is badly behaved instead of having an illness. (Vander Schaaff, 10/30)
Kaiser Health News:
Presidential ‘Parity’ Panel Offers Steps To Treat Mental Illness Like Other Disease
Acknowledging that “there is more work to be done” to ensure that patients with mental illness and addiction do not face discrimination in their health care, a presidential task force made a series of recommendations Friday including $9.3 million in funding to improve enforcement of the federal parity law. The long-awaited report is the product of a task force President Barack Obama announced in March during a speech about the opioid epidemic. (Gold, 10/31)