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Tags: mental | illness | youth

3 in 4 Mental Illnesses Emerge by 25

Monday, 23 April 2012 11:56 AM EDT

About 75 percent of mental illnesses emerge by age 25, with mood and anxiety disorders among the most common conditions, a new study has found.
Yet there is little mental-health support for youth in this age group, said researchers from the Lawson Health Research Institute, in part because help is only available to young people referred for psychological help by doctors. But a new program that allows students to refer themselves, and enroll on their own, has been found to be an effective early-interventional alternative to traditional mental health care for teens and young adults.
"It is our belief that adolescents and young adults should not meet any obstacles when they reach out for mental health care because the odds are just too high,” said lead researcher Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a psychiatrist at London Health Sciences Centre. “If a young person has to wait 6 to 12 months to get the mental health care they need that could ruin a semester or year of school or their early work life."
Osuch said the findings point up the need for programs like the First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program (FEMAP), a treatment and clinical research program geared specifically to youth ages 16-26, that allows patients to refer themselves
Osuch said this approach could help professionals to better connect with those at risk, and to intervene before the young person's development is impacted.
The new study, published in the journal Early Intervention in Psychiatry, analyzed the effectiveness or programs like the FEMAP initiative. Researchers found FEMAP enrolled 93 patients in its first year. Each participated in an interview and questionnaire to assess the severity of their symptoms, their level of functional impairment and their demographic information.
Results showed that 67 percent of patients referred themselves and almost 71 percent had severe persistent symptoms, despite receiving some mental health treatment in the past.

© HealthDay

Psychology study highlights need for young people to be able to seek help on their own.
Monday, 23 April 2012 11:56 AM
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