Mayo Clinic issues toolkit to identify signs of youth mental health disorders

Action Signs tool kit will help parents and educators easily identify signs of youth mental health disorders

Mayo Clinic researchers -- in partnership with numerous national mental health advocacy organizations -- are issuing new simple-to-understand tools to help identify youth who may have mental health disorders.

Issuing these tools is consistent with the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General call in 2001 to develop a set of easily identifiable mental health disorder warning signs among youth for use by parents, professionals and community members.

Despite well-documented levels of emotional and behavioral concerns in the nation's youth, studies have repeatedly shown that up to 75 percent of youth with mental health disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, anxiety, and eating disorders are usually not identified, and youth do not receive the care they need.

After surveying more than 6,000 parents and children about mental health services in the United States during the past decade, researchers created a mental health disorder Action Signs tool kit to help easily identify symptoms for youth who may be experiencing mental disorders. Click here for a copy. The findings and epidemiology that led to the toolkit are published in the journal Pediatrics on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011.

Study researchers and youth mental health experts will discuss the new tools during a phone press conference on Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. EDT.


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