Child and Adolescent Mental Health Around The World: Challenges for Progress

Belfer, Myron L (2005) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Around The World: Challenges for Progress. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Child and adolescent mental health is an essential component of overall health and its importance is gaining increased recognition. Current events have heightened an interest in the mental health of youth. Unfortunately, too often this is due to concerns about the mental health consequences of war, prolonged conflict, natural disasters, AIDS, and substance abuse. Special populations of repatriated child soldiers and street children are a vivid reminder of the many children who have been deprived of an environment that could support healthy development. Further, there is an increased understanding that children who are not mentally healthy can have an adverse impact on the stability and economic viability of nations. Of particular importance throughout the world is the fact that positive mental health plays a role in supporting compliance and adherence to a broad spectrum of health regimens. Yet, the almost universally expressed recognition of the importance for societies, as well as for the individual, to have children and adolescents attain adulthood with good mental health has not brought forth the economic and human resources necessary to meet the observable need. The reasons for this gap are several and include the world’s ambivalent view of the worth of children in societies, the view of children as family property to be used for work, a lack of comprehension that children have a mental life, and a failure to understand developmental psychopathology (WHO, 2003). It is only now with progress being made in the eradication of infectious diseases and the improvement of nutritional status, and improved health education in many locales that it may become possible for societies to consider the mental health of children as a priority issue.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:child mental health, adolescent
Subjects:JOURNALS > Journal of Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
ID Code:4207
Deposited By: Journal of Indian Association for Child and Adolescent, Mental Health
Deposited On:13 Apr 2005
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

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