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Provision of mental healthcare for children and adolescents: a worldwide view

Rocha, Thiago Botter-Maioa; Graeff-Martins, Ana Soledadeb,c; Kieling, Christiana; Rohde, Luis Augustoa,c

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: July 2015 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 330–335
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000169
Edited by Richard Williams and Philip Hazell

Purpose of review: There has been increased attention towards the burden imposed by mental disorders on children and adolescents. The present overview explores the current state of child and adolescent mental healthcare provision around the globe.

Recent findings: Current research indicates a concerning gap in the provision of care for the child and adolescent population. The disparities between need, demand and access to youth mental healthcare are likely to be even greater in low and- middle-income countries (LAMIC), where the proportion of children and adolescents in the population is higher. The scarcity of available resources for youth mental healthcare, especially in LAMIC, represents a major obstacle to decreasing the impact of mental disorders across the lifespan.

Summary: Our review highlights the discrepancy between demands and availability of mental healthcare for youth populations throughout the world. We describe some of the potential contributors to the current state of youth mental healthcare, such as problematic access to services, implementation deficiencies and inadequacy of policies. Recent innovative strategies to reduce these barriers are also presented.

aDepartment of Psychiatry, Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

bDepartment of Psychiatry, Universidade de São Paulo

cNational Institute for Developmental Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents, Brazil

Correspondence to Luis Augusto Rohde, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2530 – 400N Porto Alegre 90035-009, RS, Brazil. E-mail: lrohde@terra.com.br

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