Mental Health Care in the Classroom

Mental Health Care in the Classroom

The classroom can be an important factor in helping kids with mental illness that extends into adulthood, a new study suggests.

It is estimated that between eight to 18 percent of school-aged children and youth experience mental health problems, according to a study by researchers from University of Oxford and published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

The researchers point out that children spend most of their time in the classroom and early detection and intervention could be made if teachers were trained in recognizing mental illness.  Scientists have suggested that around 70 per cent of mental illness can be identified before the age of 18 or 19.

The researchers found that behavioural disorders such as separation anxiety and oppositional defiant disorder mainly affect children aged four to 10, whereas anxiety and depression common in those aged 11 to 18.

Mental illness can affect youth from early childhood all the way through to adulthood and the rest of their lives. Research shows that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14. Scientists are discovering that changes in the body leading to mental illness may start much earlier, before any symptoms appear, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Mental health conditions that affect children can include anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.


Sources: Lancet Psychiatry

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