Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Duke Medicine: Mental health disorders in children

Posted November 28, 2011

Mental health disorders are more common in children and adolescents than many people realize. Studies show that at least one in five children and adolescents have a mental health disorder. At least one in 10, or about six million, has a serious emotional disturbance.

When is a child displaying enough concerns with emotions, behavior, development, or school performance to warrant a referral to a mental health specialist?

Like adults, children and adolescents can have developmental, learning, or mental health disorders that interfere with the way they think, feel, behave, and learn.

When untreated, mental health disorders can persist into adulthood and can be very costly to individuals, families, communities, and the health care system. Untreated disorders can lead to school failure, family conflicts, substance abuse, violence, crime, and suicide.

For more about mental health health issues in children, including signs of a potential problem for young children, tweens and teens, read the full post on


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