From the Desk of Dr. James Greenblatt
We are facing an unprecedented crisis of mental illness in today’s youth. Mental health and neurological conditions are reaching alarming levels in children and teens across the globe. Even before the pandemic, rates of mental health problems in children and adolescents were concerning.
In the United States, data from a 2016 survey found that 16.5% of all children under age 18 had a diagnosed mental health disorder (Whitney 2019). According to the study, half of these children never received appropriate mental health care. Worse yet, prescribing medications to children for mental health conditions is common, yet effectiveness is exceedingly poor. For many mental health disorders, there are no approved medications for core symptoms.
It appears the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified mental health challenges among children and teens, especially when it comes to adolescent depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief and suicidal ideation. Research has found that rates of suicide in 2016 among teenagers were 48% higher than in 2000–a concerning pre-pandemic statistic alone.
As a functional psychiatry practitioner for over 30 years, I have witnessed the benefits of a more comprehensive, integrative approach to treating youth and adult mental health. More specifically, the outcomes have been profound when evaluating for and treating nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, gut flora problems, toxicities, genetic defects, and other contributing factors.
With such high rates of mental health conditions growing among children and teens, we desperately need more effective, functional medicine solutions. The time to act is now, and we need your help.
Psychiatry Refined hosted a revolutionary online event, The Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Redefined Symposium, in November 2021. Five expert speakers joined me for this event, all seasoned professionals in taking a functional and integrative medicine approach to the mental health challenges facing our kids and teens today, and treating diagnoses like autism, ADHD, depression, eating disorders, PANDAS, and more:
- Andrew Farah, MD
- Robert Hendren, DO
- Nancy H. O’Hara, MD, MPH, FAAP
- Deborah Simkin, MD
- Amelia Villagomez, MD
For all symposium details, click here. I encourage you to explore these lectures as we strive to transform the approach to child and teen mental health care in this country. Our children deserve better.