PEDIATRICIANS ARE CONFRONTED DAILY with mental health problems in their patients and their patients' parents. The Surgeon General's report on mental health estimated that 1 in 5 children and adolescents have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder with at least minimum impairment.1 A recent study reported that 6.6% of adults had had a major depressive disorder in the last 12 months, with 59.3% of these adult patients severely or very severely impaired in their ability to carry out their regular life activities.2 The highest risk of major depressive disorder was among 18- to 29-year-old women who were homemakers, underscoring the potential effect of adult depression on children.
Rivara FP. Mental Health of Children, Adolescents, and Their Parents: A Call for Papers. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(9):844. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.9.844