Mental Health Policies for Children Living in Poverty

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Mental Health is a common topic in all agenda’s in the United States. It is currently looked at broadly across all segments of health; in fact, over the years there have been multiple approaches to addressing the needs of the population affected by lack of mental health or that have prominent mental health disorders. Over the past century the United States has been especially concerned about the mental health problems of our children and youth (Tuma, 1989). Worldwide 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders (World Health Organization [WHO], 2014). This topic has been so important to the extent that as early as 1909, the white house conference on children recommended new programs to care for mentally disturbed children (Tuma, 1989), but the process seems to continue to be in planning phases with some advancement in mental health policies for children. One hundred years later, the surgeon general national agenda for children’s health, the president’s new freedom commission on mental health and the American Psychological Association are all pushing efforts to address children’s mental health issues (Odar et al, 2013). More so, the stakeholders mentioned above agree on the fact that there is a large gap between the mental health needs of children and the supports and services that are available to meet those needs (Tolan and Dodge, 2005). However, in spite of many different approaches Tolan and Dodge (2005) state that “Children’s mental health continues to be neglected even with growing scientific evidence of the importance of mental health in children’s development” this is occurring specially within the primary developmental systems such as pediatric care and school, and of efficacy of interventions for chil... ... middle of paper ... ...03-911. Stroul, B. A., Pires, S. A., Armstrong, M. I., & Meyers, J. C. (1998). The impact of managed care on mental health services for children and their families. Future of Children, 8, 119-133. Tolan, P. H., & Dodge, K. A. (2005). Children's mental health as a primary care and concern: a system for comprehensive support and service. American Psychologist, 60(6), 601. Tuma, J. M. (1989). Mental health services for children: The state of the art. American Psychologist, 44(2), 188. World Health Organization. Child Mental Health http://www.who.int/mental_health/maternal-child/en/ http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/mental-health-benefits-state-mandates.aspx Yoshikawa, H., Aber, J. L., & Beardslee, W. R. (2012). The effects of poverty on the mental, emotional, and behavioral health of children and youth: Implications for prevention. American Psychologist, 67(4), 272.

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