-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Many American adults who
work and volunteer with young people believe that children and
teens have limited or no access to mental health care, a new survey
Participants were asked about the availability of different
kinds of health services for children and teens in their
More than half of the respondents said there was "lots of
availability" for teens to have hospital care (55 percent) and
primary care (56 percent), but only 30 percent said the same was
true for mental health care. Availability for children was very
The survey was conducted by the University of Michigan-based
National Voices Project, which was created to assess disparities in
children's health, education and economic opportunities at the
community level, through the input of paid adults or volunteers who
work on behalf of children.
"These findings indicate low availability of mental health care for children and teens in the majority of communities across the U.S.," Dr. Matthew Davis, director of the National Voices Project, and an associate professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, and of public policy, said in a university news release.
"Even in communities where there are lots of opportunities for children and teens to get primary care or hospital care, access to mental health care is lacking," he added.
The survey also found that in communities where respondents
believed there were racial/ethnic inequalities, they reported that
children and teens had less access to all health care services,
including mental health care. This perceived lack of access was
especially true for teens.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
child and teen mental health.
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