chapter  11
22 Pages

Children, Adolescents, and Family Issues

This conclusion resonates around the world and requires strategic action; the mental health of our children represents the overall health and well-being of our society and its future. Although epidemiological research indicates that one in four or 25% of North American children (0-19 years) experience clinically significant mental illness or complex psychosocial issues (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999; Waddell, Hua, Garland, Peters, & McEwan, 2007), this chapter will demonstrate the importance of focusing on functional status as opposed to psychiatric diagnosis when responding to children’s needs in primary care. It builds upon the principles introduced in Chapter 2 regarding multiple assessment approaches to identify individual and family strengths and promote optimal functioning. The leap to formulating a psychiatric diagnosis with psychopharmacological treatment (especially as primary intervention) for children should always be scrutinized regardless of practice specialty: primary care, pediatrics, or child psychiatry/mental health.