National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Top Story

Antidepressants and Kids
A new review concludes that the benefits of antidepressant medications for children and teens appear to be much greater than the risks.

Treating Kids with Depression
New FDA warnings about the use of anti-depressant medications for children leave parents, caregivers wondering about options.

Understanding the Issue:

Children and Adolescents Living with Mental Illness
As NAMI families know through their own experience, paying for treatment and supports for their children or adolescents with a serious mental disorder can quickly wipe out employer provided health coverage. In many cases, strict limits on health insurance coverage mean that plans either refuse to pay for intensive treatment, or impose restrictions that can render coverage meaningless.

Broken Promises and the Health Care Crisis: Children and Adolescents with Mental Illness
Current facts about the numbers of children and adolescents with mental illness, the consequences of mental illness in youth, barriers to treatment, and related issues

NAMI's Position on the Issue:

Mental Health Screening Will Save Lives
Our nation simply cannot afford to continue to fail our youth with mental disorders who need treatment. The tragic consequences of our failure to identify youth through early assessment and to intervene with appropriate mental health treatment and services are well documented. The facts speak for themselves.

NAMI's Position on Children & Adolescents with Mental Illness
NAMI believes that children and adolescents with brain disorders have the right to thrive in nurturing environments and deserve to have early diagnoses with appropriate treatment targeted to their specific needs.

Take Action!

Contact Your Representatives about Children's Issues
Use our online advocacy tool to send a letter to your congressional representatives right now and make your voice heard on this issue. Use our suggested text or compose a letter of your own.

Sign Up for E-News Alerts
Keep up with the latest developments on this issue by subscribing to NAMI E-News, our free action alert newsletter.

Other Resources:

Family Guide on Adolescent Depression
NAMI's family guide on What Families Need to Know about Adolescent Depression.

CABF Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation
For five years the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation has been a meeting place for families dealing with the challenge of raising children with bipolar disorder. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide essential support and information to all of you who are struggling to do the best you can for your children and families.

NAMI Child & Adolescent Resource Guide
NAMI Children & Adolescent Mental Health Books/DVDs Resource Guide

NAMI's statement before the FDA regarding the safety of anti-depression medication in children
A statement on the critically important issue of the safety and effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for children and adolescents with depression.

NAMI Joins Group Launching Resources for Families
NAMI participated today in a press conference to launch, a new resource center developed by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with depression.

Treating Kids with Depression
New FDA warnings about the use of anti-depressant medications for children leave parents, caregivers wondering about options.

Statement on Child Custody Relinquishment from NAMI Executive Director Rick Birkel
Must Parents Relinquish Custody in order to Secure Mental Health Services, submitted to the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.

Promoting, Preserving, and Restoring Children's Mental Health
A report from the Children and Families subcommittee of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, this document discusses the public health crisis in child and adolescent mental health, and outlines policy options.

Internet Resource List for Children & Adolescents Mental Health Websites
Children's internet resource guide

CAAC was created as an impact to the crisis in child and adolescent mental healthcare to focus attention on systems reform and to help and support families. The Center offers a newsletter, fact sheets, brochures, reading lists, multicultural outreach, and more.