Securing good mental health for the next generation
Three quarters of serious and recurring mental health problems begin before the age of 25, but current services and prevention strategies are not set up in a way that will maximise their effectiveness.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Three quarters of serious and recurring mental health problems begin before the age of 25, but current services and prevention strategies are not set up in a way that will maximise their effectiveness.
This is the message of a special supplement published with the January 2013 edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry ( BJPsych ). The supplement’s editors make the case for a transformation of mental health care for young people based on early intervention and a priority focus on emerging adulthood.
The supplement’s two editorials, two papers and five special articles have been authored by 21 specialists, who examine how services might be set up to best meet the mental health needs of young people in the 21st century.
Research suggests that one in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 have a diagnosable mental disorder, with prospective studies suggesting that by the age of 21, more than half of young people will have experienced a mental health problem of some kind. The consequences of poor mental health care and prevention include premature death, lost earnings and wasted social, educational and economic opportunities.
Royal College of Psychiatrists President, Professor Sue Bailey, herself a forensic child and adolescent psychiatrist, said: “The early years of life and maturity into adulthood are absolutely crucial for future wellbeing.
“While the circumstances of a young person’s life may be out of their control, there are things that can be done to build resilience, prevent mental ill health and treat mental disorders.
“The way services are organised is crucial and this special supplement makes the case for a fundamental review of how they are delivered. While of course we must not ignore the importance of early childhood experiences, the supplement highlights the important transition from adolescence into adulthood for future mental wellbeing.”
The articles are :
Mental health services for young people: matching the service to the need; Swaran Singh and Max Birchwood. The supplement editors argue that a fundamental review of services for young people is long overdue. Prevention, innovation and implementation science in mental health: the next wave of reform; Patrick McGorry. With the costs associated with mental ill health estimated to double over the next 20 years, the author makes the case for a greater emphasis on prevention and early intervention in light of this major threat to productivity during the most productive decades of people’s lives. Papers:
Preventing depression and promoting resilience: feasibility of a school-based cognitive-behavioural intervention; Paul Stallard and Rhiannon Buck. Based on a study with 834 secondary school children in England, the authors conclude that undertaking school-based depression programmes is feasible. Transfers and transitions between child and adult mental health services; Moli Paul, Tamsin Ford, Tami Kramer, Zoebia Islam, Kath Harley and Swaran Singh. This study of six child and adolescent mental health services found that the transition into adult mental health services was often poor. Special articles:
Adult mental health disorders and their age at onset; PB Jones. The author finds that perhaps half of adult mental health disorders have begun by the teenage years, then discusses what is known about developmental neurobiology of the brain and the implications for services. Clinical staging in severe mental disorder: evidence from neurocognition and neuroimaging; Ashleigh Lin, Ranate Reniers, Stephen Wood. This study examines how major depression and bipolar affective disorder could benefit from a clinical staging model, which is common in general medicine. It concludes that further research is needed. Prevention and early intervention for borderline personality disorder: current status and recent evidence; Andrew Chanen, Louise McCutcheon. This article shows how prevention and early intervention programmes for young people with borderline personality disorder can and do work. Designing youth mental health services for the 21st century: examples from Australia, Ireland and UK; Patrick McGorry, Tony Bates and Max Birchwood. This paper highlights how people aged 12-25 have the highest incidence and prevalence of mental illness across their lives, but their access to mental health services is the poorest of all age groups. It gives three examples of services that have been reoriented to provide accessible, evidence-based mental health care for young people. The divide between child and adult mental health services: points for debate; Clare Lamb and Margaret Murphy. This article considers the current position in the UK and the need to preserve early intervention and prevention for the very young, while proposing options for service redesign to improve provision and practice at the transition from child and adolescent to adult mental health services.
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References: Youth mental health ( supplement 54 ). British Journal of Psychiatry, January 2013, Volume 202, Issue s54
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