Childhood Depression And Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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Childhood Mental Disorders, such as anxiety, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, are chronic health conditions that present between birth and age 18.1 Mental disorders are characterized as a “combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, and behaviors”2 that may impair a child’s functioning in school, at home, and in everyday life. They are caused by a combination of biological and environmental factors i.e. a family history of anxiety and living below the poverty line. CDC estimates that twenty percent of children in the United States currently suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder3 yet 75-80% of affected individuals do not receive necessary mental health services.4 The underutilization of mental health services may…show more content…
$1 billion is spent annually on medical costs associated with children and adolescents’ attempted and completed suicides, 90% of which are committed by mentally disordered individuals. Mental disorders also impose devastating costs on children’s social and emotional wellbeing by impacting the child’s ability to regulate impulses and emotions, understand feelings, develop empathy and confidence, form relationships, and communicate effectively. Children with unidentified mental disorders experience increased rates of involvement with the Juvenile Criminal Justice System. The National Alliance of Mental Health estimates that more 70% of incarcerated youth have at least one diagnosable mental disorder. Adolescents with mental disorders are also significantly more likely to make lower grades and to drop out of high school; 10% of high school dropouts may be attributable to untreated mental disorders.
III. Landscape

President Obama In his 2013 budget proposal, President Obama set forth the Now Is The Time initiative, which emphasized the need to place mental disorders in young children and adolescents on the national agenda. President Obama proposed a $235 million dollar school-safety and mental health plan that would focus on the prevention, early identification, and treatment of mental disorders by training teachers to identify signs of
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