Attention Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Counselors: The Teenaged Mind is Different!
A study coming out of Children’s Hospital in Boston has a startling conclusion: teenagers’ brains are different from other brains! Boy, I never would have guessed it – I wonder what tipped them off? Perhaps the chief investigator made some observations in her own kitchen and living room where she may have encountered the wild beast we have named, The American Teenager?
The University of North Carolina has taken stewardship of one of only fifteen sites, nationally, for the Caring Across Communities Program. Caring Across Communities is a program whose aim is to bring direct access to mental health and psychotherapy services for underserved children in our school systems.
The idea is that school children spend a lot of their time in, you guessed it!, school. Therefore, if one wanted to identify mental illness in children and start education and treatment for them, school would be the ideal place in which to do that. Under the Caring Across Communities umbrella, UNC and Chatham County schools started a program called Confianza to target the Latino population in Chatham County.
Let’s do the numbers. How many people in the USA are suffering from a diagnosable mental illness at any given time? Below, I’ve taken the liberty of borrowing some statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH] and the numbers are staggering. According to NIMH, about 26% of American adults over 18 – about one in four – suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year. That doesn’t count the millions of children with mental illness and it doesn’t count the large number of people who have a mental illness, but do not seek care for it. In other words, the actual number is surely much higher than the reported one.