March 01, 2001
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts March 2001 Current Issue
March 2001
Short Cuts:

Think childhood is carefree? Perhaps not for the kids who suffer from serious mental illness. In fact, one in 10 children and adolescents have mental health problems severe enough to cause some level of impairment, according to a report released in January by Surgeon General David Satcher.

Common afflictions include depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar or manic-depressive illness, and conduct disorders.

The report identifies action steps to promote awareness, reduce the stigma of mental illness and help those afflicted get the professional attention they need. (The full “National Action Agenda for Children’s Health” is posted at

Warning signs include a drop in school performance, changes in sleeping or eating habits, desire to be alone, excessive daydreaming, hearing unexplained voices and feeling as if life is too hard to handle. Parents who observe any of these signs in their children should seek professional help.


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