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October 3, 2016
The Impact of Mental Health

When it comes to our children, parents worry about lots of things, especially their health. We take our kids for regular dental check-ups and make sure they don’t eat too much sugar. We dutifully take them for their well visits and vaccinations each year and back for their flu shots in the fall. But are we checking up on our children’s’ mental health?

Studies from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) show that 1 in 5 kids has a serious mental illness, and 50 percent of people with a serious, lifelong mental illness will experience it’s onset before age 14. Even more concerning? The research tells us that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in people ages 10-24; meaning young people are more likely to die of suicide than from cancer.

See more: Mental Health By the Numbers

But there’s good news, too. Research also shows that 70-90 percent of all people who enter into services for a mental health problem report symptom improvement with treatment. With therapy and/or medication, patients can, and often do, get better. Yet despite its proven efficacy, roughly half of all kids experiencing a mental illness have not received treatment in the last year.

Read more about our dual diagnosis adult inpatient unit, opening 2017.

Mental illness affects all of us, whether you or a loved one. In any given year, 1 in 4 adults will experience a mental health condition. You aren’t alone, and our caring and dedicated staff of therapists and psychiatrists is here to help. We offer outpatient therapy for adults, children and adolescents, along with medication management, a partial hospitalization program, school-based services, community-based emergency services and more. Services are available for you and your loved ones in Southbridge, Webster, Dudley and Charlton, with additional school and court-based locations.

For more information about services offered, or to make an appointment, contact our centralized intake line at 508-765-2222.

Katie Adams, LICSW, is the director of mental services for Harrington HealthCare System.