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Treatment Rates for Youth with Mental Disorders Are Consistently Low: International Study

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November 22, 2023Treatment rates worldwide are consistently low for children and adolescents with diagnosed mental disorders, according to an international study published by JAMA Open Network1 that showed significant variations in treatment by age, income level, and region.The meta-analysis included data for 310,583 children across 40 studies from 1984 to 2017.

The lowest combined treatment rate was reported for youth diagnosed with anxiety disorders (31% treated), followed by depressive disorders (36%), behavior disorders (49%), and ADHD (58%).Timely treatment of common mental disorders reduces the risk of negative outcomes later in life, such as substance abuse.

Despite rising global health concerns, mental disorders continue to go untreated for many children and teens. The severity of this issue is unclear because prevalence rates reported by published studies can vary widely, according to researchers.

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