A new national survey of 1,000 parents with children aged 2-24 commissioned by the Child Mind Institute investigated parents’ awareness of and concerns about psychiatric and learning issues in their children. The key findings were as follows:
- Nearly one in four parents (22%) reports being concerned about a child’s mental health
- Children identified by their parents as having mental health issues show more than double the rate of problematic and dangerous behaviors—including alcohol and drug abuse, suspension from school, and suicide attempts—as compared to children in the whole sample
- While most parents with concerns sought treatment (87%), almost half (43%) waited more than a year and nearly a quarter (22%) waited more than two years to get help
- The most common treatments were medication (50%) and psychotherapy (46%). Of those who received medication, 80% found it effective while only 50% found psychotherapy and other treatments effective.
- Of the parents who had concerns about a child’s mental health, 81% said they had talked to their pediatrician about them.
- Nearly half of concerned parents went to either their pediatrician (36%) or doctor/family doctor (11%) for help, while 38% went to a psychologist and 24% went to a psychiatrist.
- While 97% of parents said mental health is as important as physical health, only 29% said their pediatricians asked them regularly about their child’s mental health.
- More than a third (40%) of parents said they do not understand their mental health insurance coverage, and 43% believe that there is not enough mental health coverage.
Please see the attached PDF document for the full survey report. http://sz0010.ev.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/National%20Childrens%20Mental%20Health%20Report%20Card%202011.pdf?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=292418&part=2
The results overlap NAMI's primary care survey report, which can be accessed at www.nami.org/primarycare.