A global perspective into care for children with mental health disorders

Developmental disabilities, emotional disorders and disruptive behaviour disorders are the leading mental health-related causes of the global disease burden in children aged below ten years.

The three major barriers for implementing the effective treatment of these conditions in low and middle income countries are the lack of evidence for treatment delivery, low levels of detection, and the shortage of skilled child mental health professionals, according to Professor Vikram Patel of the London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Dr Pallab K. Maulik, Deputy Director of The George Institute India and Senior Research Associate at The George Centre for Healthcare Innovation, Oxford University, in their recent publication in a BMJ group Journal - Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Acknowledging that improvement in access to mental health care services in children is of major importance, the authors have identified that the most viable strategy to address this treatment gap is by empowering existing human resources who are familiar with child care, including parents, with the skills necessary for the detecting and treating child mental health disorders, through innovative technologies like mobile health.

Improving access to care for children with mental disorders: a global perspective by lead author Professor Patel and co-author Dr Maulik was published in Archives of Disease in Childhood on 9th March, 2013.