A national survey indicated that as many as one in six U.S. children (between the ages of 6 and 17) experiences a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)1.

            The CDC reports:

  • 4% of children aged 2-17 years (approximately 6.1 million) have received an ADHD diagnosis.2
  • 4% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.5 million) have a diagnosed behavior problem.3
  • 1% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.4 million) have diagnosed anxiety.3
  • 2% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 1.9 million) have diagnosed depression.3

Further analysis of the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health data published by JAMA Pediatrics, also found that 49.4% of children or adolescents with these disorders did not receive counseling or treatment provided by a mental health professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or clinical social worker1.

The Florida Council for Behavioral Healthcare reports a dramatic increase in the number of youth referred for involuntary commitment under the Baker Act over the past 10 years. There’s also been an alarming rise in youth suicides and suicide attempts, with School District personnel across Florida reported unprecedented levels of depression, severe anxiety, and self-harm among their students. These findings ascertain that it is now more than ever, vital that the appropriate resources are available to Florida’s youth who may be experiencing a behavioral health crisis.

Providing current treatment methods remains a priority at SMA Healthcare which is evidenced in the implementation of the Mobile Response Team (MRT). Mobile Response Teams (MRT) provide families, caregivers, and teachers a “no wrong door” option when a child or adolescent is experiencing a behavioral health crisis by providing on-demand crisis intervention services in any setting, including schools, homes, and emergency departments – even through telehealth services. Mobile response services are available 365 days per year, 24 hours per day, by a team of professionals and paraprofessionals trained in crisis intervention. Services and support are provided within a timely manner as teams also work with individuals and their families to identify and implement strategies for effectively dealing with potential future crises.

In a collective community effort, MRT providers collaborate with school superintendents and law enforcements, as well as health and human service related providers, emergency responders, peer organizations, family advocacy groups, and emergency dispatchers (i.e., 211 and 911). MRTs are staffed with access to psychiatrists or psychiatric nurse practitioners able to performance assessments and evaluations, develop safety plans, and facilitate stabilization services, supportive crisis counseling, and linkage to appropriate services.

If you or somebody you know needs help, please contact our 24/7 crisis hotline at 800-539-4228.

 

1 Whitney DG, Peterson MD. US National and State-Level Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders and Disparities of Mental Health Care Use in Children. JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(4):389–391. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.5399

2 Danielson ML, Bitsko RH, Ghandour RM, Holbrook JR, Blumberg SJ.  Prevalence of parent-reported ADHD diagnosis and associated treatment among U.S. children and adolescents, 2016.  Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Published online before print January 24, 2018.

3 Ghandour RM, Sherman LJ, Vladutiu CJ, Ali MM, Lynch SE, Bitsko RH, Blumberg SJ. Prevalence and treatment of depression, anxiety, and conduct problems in U.S. children. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2018. Published online before print  October 12, 2018