The United States faces a public crisis in mental health for children and adolescents, said the surgeon general in a report released January 3.
David Satcher, MD, PhD, in releasing a National Agenda for Children's Mental Health, said that while one in 10 children and adolescents has a mental illness severe enough to cause some level of impairment in any given year, fewer than one in five of those with a disorder receives treatment.
"The burden of suffering by children with mental health needs and their families has created a health crisis in this country," Satcher said. "Growing numbers of children are suffering needlessly because their emotional, behavioral, and developmental needs are not being met by the very institutions and systems that were created to take care of them."
Mitka M. Mental Health Agenda Now Set for US Children. JAMA. 2001;285(4):398-399. doi:10.1001/jama.285.4.398-JMN0124-2-1