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Mental illness diagnoses in children quickly on the rise

A report recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the number of children across the country diagnosed with a mental health issue is on the rise. At present, an estimated one in five children suffers from at least one mental health condition.

This study examined children between the ages of 3 to 17 and found that these childhood illnesses rack up a serious bill each year in medical expenses, special education needs and juvenile justices, totaling $247 billion.

This illnesses can place financial strain on families in New Jersey, and for the children, these illnesses can lead to other chronic health problems, social difficulties and educational difficulties.

The lead author of this study says, “This is a deliberate effort by CDC to show mental health is a health issue. As with any health concern, the more attention we give to it, the better. It's parents becoming aware of the facts and talking to a healthcare provider about how their child is learning, behaving, and playing with other kids."

The most common diagnoses in children are:

  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Behavioral conduct problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depress
  • Autism spectrum disorder

For families that have a child with a mental health issue, trying to diagnose and treat the issue can help the child live a healthy and happy life, but can also be a financial strain. Families in New Jersey that are low-income and have a child that has disability or a mental illness that inhibits their development and functioning with peers could qualify for Supplemental Security Income to better assist their child.

Source: Fox News, “Up to 1 in 5 children suffer from a mental disorder, CDC says,” May 17, 2013

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