Mayo Clinic Releases New Mental Illness Warning Signs
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Nearly 75% of kids who have mental illnesses usually don't receive care. That's according to a new study out by a group of researchers with help from Mayo Clinic.
But there's often a lack of communication between parents and doctors, making the diagnosis process harder. With their findings, doctors have come out with an easy-to-understand list of warning signs to look for.
"Its hard because when it's young people many think it's a phase its something they'll grow out of, they're naughty and it goes un-diagnosed," said Nancy Nixa, a counselor for the Byron School District.
According to the study, one in four children with a mental illness are actually recognized by their doctor. A problem the Surgeon General says needs fixing.
"We've got to find a way to communicate with the public with messages that are sensible and easily understood by parents, teachers, pediatricians," said Dr. Peter Jensen, of Mayo Clinic.
So researches came up with a list of "Action Signs" for identifying a mental illness. Some of them include: feeling sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks and repeated use of drugs and alcohol.
"There's no medical jargon, it's easy to read and understand," said Nixa.
The list is something Nixa says she'll use. She says over the years she's seen more and more K-8 graders come to see her for help with a mental illness and one she's seeing on the rise is anxiety.
"It has a lot to do with the economy, families, our increased expectations at school you know the curriculum is harder and yet you've got mom and dad who can't pay for gas and food," said Nixa.
She hopes parents use the list and researchers hope it will help parents know when to call a doctor.
"If we have everybody on the same sheet of music, we might be able to make a dent in both reducing stigma and helping reduce the number of kids sooner rather than waiting until it gets really bad," said Jensen.
Doctors urge parents, teachers and counselors to look at the new list of warning signs.
PERFECT! Now every kid who repeatedly uses drugs or alcohol is now officially mentally ill. Beautiful. Perfect. Mayo certified wacko!