• By Joel Streed

Mental Health Action Plans Unveiled

November 14, 2011

After a decade of research and interviewing more than 6,000 U.S. families and children, Mayo Clinic researchers— in partnership with numerous national mental health advocacy organizations —  this Friday are issuing new simple-to-understand guidelines to help identify youth who may have mental health disorders.

Issuing these tools is consistent with the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General call in 2001 to develop a set of easily identifiable mental health disorder action signs among youth for use by parents, professionals and community members.

Despite well-documented levels of emotional and behavioral concerns in the nation’s youth, studies have repeatedly shown that up to 75 percent of youth with mental health disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, anxiety, and eating disorders are usually not identified, and youth do not receive the care they need.

After surveying more than 6,000 parents and children about mental health services in the United States during the past decade, researchers created a mental health disorder action signs tool kit to help easily identify symptoms for youth who may be experiencing mental disorders. Click here for a copy. The findings and epidemiology that led to the toolkit were published in the journal Pediatrics on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011.

Mayo Clinic Dr. Peter Jensen, played a key role in the development of these guidelines.  His comments are offered below.

Click here to view the study

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