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Mental Illness in Children and Adolescents: Early Detection is the key

Mental Illness in Children and Adolescents: Early Detection is the key

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Mental Illness in Children and Adolescents: Early Detection is the key

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  1. Mental Illness in Children and Adolescents: Early Detection is the key

  2. Introduction – self and topic • Alarming Statistics • Define Mental Illness/Good mental health • Why is this important • Children at risk and triggers • Types of Mental illness and Indicators • What can be done • An action Plan

  3. Self Introduction

  4. Introduction to Topic

  5. Some General Statistics

  6. About 45% of adult Australians will experience a mental illness at some stage in their lives

  7. One in five Australians will experience a mental disorder in any 12-month period.

  8. Each year a further 20 000 Australians are found to have a mental illness. 

  9. In 2004-2005, mental illness was the leading cause of 'healthy life' lost due to disability.

  10. Many of those who experience mental health problems will experience more than one mental illness at the one time, such as depression and anxiety, which commonly occur together.

  11. Three million Australians will experience a major depressive illness during their lifetime.

  12. In 2004-2005, mental and behavioural problems were one of the most common reported long-term health conditions of socially and economically disadvantaged people.

  13. 21% of males and 22.1% of females with weekly household incomes of less than $580 experienced mental health problems, compared to 8.9% of males and 9.1% of females living in households with a weekly income of more than $1030.

  14. 5% of Australians experience anxiety so crippling that it affects every aspect of their lives.

  15. Almost one in 100 Australians will experience schizophrenia during their lifetime. 

  16. 3 in 100 Australians will experience a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

  17. Mental illness has the third highest burden of disease in Australia, followed closely by cancer and cardiovascular disease, second only to cardiovascular disease.

  18. Those with a mental disorder average three days out of role (i.e. not undertaking normal activity because of health problems) over a four week period. This compares with one day out of role for people with no physical or mental condition. 

  19. Mental health problems were the fourth most common reason for seeing a GP in 2004-2005. Almost 1 in 9 GP encounters involve a mental health-related problem - mostly depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. 

  20. From 2005-2006, 4.4% of all hospitalisations were for mental health-related principal diagnosis or specialised psychiatric diagnoses.

  21. In 2004-2005, 11% of all persons self-reported a current long-term mental or behavioural problem. Half had mood disorders and nearly 50% had anxiety related problems.


  23. The greatest number of people with a mental illness are within the 18-24 year age group.

  24. Many people with schizophrenia first experience symptoms in their mid to late teen years. 

  25. One third of people with a mental illness who are admitted to public hospitals are less than 30 years old.

  26. Depression is one of the most common health conditions in young people and increases during adolescence. 

  27. Drug use can complicate diagnosis and exacerbate or trigger illness in vulnerable young people.

  28. In 2007, 26% of 16-24 year olds had experienced a mental disorder in the previous 12 months.

  29. Data published in 2008 revealed that during a 12-month period, 7% of Australian children and adolescents aged 0-17 were experiencing mental health problems.

  30. In 2004-2005, one in 10 young Australians had a long-term mental health or behavioural problem. 

  31. In 2003, mental disorders were the leading contributor to the total burden of disease among young Australians, accounting for 49% of that total.

  32. There is a higher prevalence of child and adolescent mental health problems among those living in low-income, step/blended and sole-parent families. 

  33. 25% of males and 19.7% of females living in step/blended families, and 22.2% of males and 26.7% of females living in sole-parent families experienced mental health problems, compared to 11.3% of males and 10.7% of females living with their original parents. 

  34. Only one out of every four young persons with mental health problems had received professional health care. 

  35. Even among young people with the most severe mental health problems, only 50% receive professional help. Parents reported that help was too expensive or they didn't know where to get it, and that they thought they could manage on their own. 

  36. Adolescents with mental health problems report a high rate of suicidal thoughts and other health-risk behaviour, including smoking, drinking and drug use. 

  37. 12% of 13-17 year olds reported having thought about suicide, while 4.2% had actually made a suicide attempt. Females had higher rates of suicide ideation than males.

  38. Of critical importance- • 90% of those who die by suicide suffer from diagnosable & treatable mental illness

  39. What is a Mental Illness?

  40. behavioural/psychological pattern • pain or impairment • not otherwise explainable by physical condition • not due to present unpleasant circumstance i.e. death

  41. What about good mental health? • Possession of skills necessary to cope with life and its challenges • Ability to think clearly • Develop socially • Build fulfilling relationships • Learn new skills • Adapt to change • Cope with adversity

  42. Causes Nature v Nurture

  43. Heredity (genetics): Mental illness tends to run in families, which means the likelihood to develop a mental disorder may be passed on from parents to their children.

  44. Biology: Some mental disorders have been linked to special chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters help nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other. If these chemicals are out of balance or not working properly, messages may not make it through the brain correctly, leading to symptoms. In addition, defects in or injury to certain areas of the brain have also have been linked to some mental illnesses.

  45. Psychological trauma: Some mental illnesses may be triggered by psychological trauma, such as severe emotional, physical or sexual abuse; an important early loss, such as the loss of a parent; and neglect

  46. Environmental stress: Stressful or traumatic events can trigger a mental illness in a person with a vulnerability to a mental disorder

  47. Foster Children are a Risk Group It is generally considered to be the case that mental illnesses can be attribute to both genetic and environmental factors. Certain risk factors lead to a higher change of the development of a mental illness and one of those issues can be family disturbance or trauma. It is for this reason that children in Foster Care are a high risk group of developing mental illnesses Emerging research indicates that intervening early can interrupt the negative course of some mental illness and may, in some cases, lessen long-term disability.

  48. Vital for successful behavioral & educational outcomes. If treatment & support occurs from the 1st early warning signs, there is a better chance for success as adults. Most mental health conditions worsen if not treated as the brain’s development continues to be assaulted by negative influences. Behavioral interventions, therapy, medications and other interventions are proven to be effective treatment for many serious emotional & mental disorders Why Early Intervention?

  49. The Consequences…