According to researchers at the Child Mind Institute, mental healthcare for children is in crisis. 50 percent of all children in the United States have a diagnosable mental illness, but fewer that 8 percent receive treatment in any given year.
The report further states that of the 50 percent with a diagnosable mental illness, 22 percent will have a serious condition.
“The word ‘crisis’ is spot-on,” said Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, founder and president of the Child Mind Institute. “The problem is that not only are these kids not getting care now, they’re not getting care tomorrow, or in five years when their symptoms are worse and more complicated. And they’re not getting care when the untreated mental illness of childhood has put them at risk for poor outcomes down the road, like school dropout, incarceration, and even suicide.”
Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent mental illnesses in children, accounting for 40 percent of their mental health conditions in the United States. However, 80 percent of the children witl clinical level anxiety are not receiving treatment
“Anxiety disorders are like a silent majority — kids are very good at hiding them,” explained Koplewicz. “But that doesn’t mean they don’t cause impairment and suffering, and we do know that they lead to more severe disorders down the road. We want to change that, and we can, but the fact is that parents [often] don’t seek help for internalizing disorders like anxiety.”