National Alliance on Mental Illness
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New Study highlights the toll of Mental Illness, Beginning in Youth.
A new National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded study, the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), was released late on June 6th, 2005. The NIMH release that describes the study -- titled "Mental Illness Exacts Heavy Toll, Beginning in Youth" -- highlighted the following findings from the study related to children and adolescents:
Dr. Tom Insel, the Director of NIMH, stated the following "There are many important messages from this study, but perhaps none as important as the recognition that mental disorders are the chronic disorders of young people in the U.S."
The study, conducted by Dr. Ron Kessler and colleagues at Harvard University, is described in the June 6th issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. You can order a copy of the series of articles by visiting the Archives web site at http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/
You can read more about the study on the NIMH web site at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/press/mentalhealthstats.cfm
Clearly this study makes a strong case for the critical need for early identification of mental disorders in children and adolescents and early intervention to avoid years of unnecessary suffering and the risk of illnesses becoming much more severe and treatment resistent. This is especially true in a time when we have effective treatments for most early onset mental illnesses. This information is also helpful to counter anti-children's MH campaigns and anti-mental health screening attacks.