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Children as young as two assessed for mental health issues

By Melissa Horrocks     Jun 3, 2012 in Health
Children as young as two are being quizzed on their spirituality. Studies will be conducted on children to check their mental health and well-being.
According to The Herald Scotland children as young as two are now being assessed for psychological well-being. This is part of a project to monitor the mental well being of children in Scotland for the first time.
Under new proposals to measure mental health, pre-school children could be observed for any signs of mental illness. A set of indicators has been created, that will help researchers to create a detailed nationwide profile of all children under the age of 17. It is hoped that this will help children earlier, rather than later, when it is sometimes too late. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of mental illness earlier on could bring about new ways of treatment. Helping children, early on in mental illness is hoped to bring more successful treatment plans.
The first survey will be published towards the end of 2013 and then updated on a four yearly basis.
A report on the work carried out, published last week, states that one main area that needs to be developed is correlating information on the mental well-being of children aged between 24 to 30 months and before entry to primary school.
The report also recommends that experts should ask children about their religious beliefs as this is a vital part of mental well-being.
Statistics from mental health charities show that around one in 10 children aged between 5 and 15 will suffer from a mental health problem.
Dr Jane Parkinson, public health adviser with NHS Health Scotland, stated that, "It is not just those that obviously have a recognised diagnosed problem, but recognising that everyone in the population has a mental health need,"
It is important to treat the entire population, rather than just one section. Only by treating everyone, will an answer be found as to what is happening in the population. The report will be kept up to date every four years. Once it is updated, the information will be sent to the Scottish Government and other important partners. With this information, the government can implement new changes in the way mental health is treated.
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