Segment 3 - Screening Earlier for Mental Health Disorders

Paul Gionfriddo and Stuart Lustig, MD, MPH, discuss access to care issues for mental health patients, in particular for children and young adults.

Paul Gionfriddo and Stuart Lustig, MD, MPH, discuss access to care issues for mental health patients, in particular for children and young adults.

According to Dr Lustig, if the country doesn’t have enough mental health clinicians to treat all the people who have disorders, then the issue of access is especially troublesome for child psychiatrists, who receive training after they are trained as an adult psychiatrist. There is less than 2 child psychiatrists for every 1000 kids with severe mental illness, he said.

Mr Gionfriddo followed by saying that half of mental illnesses manifest by age 14, and that it is necessary to move thinking upstream and screen earlier.

“We say [at Mental Health America] that mental health conditions are the only chronic conditions that, as a matter of public policy, we wait until stage 4 to treat, and then only through incarceration,” he said.