There is no doubting that people suffering from mental health issues have an uphill struggle ahead of them. Often times disabling conditions can prevent you from going to work, maintaining a social life, or sometimes prevent you from otherwise leading a relatively normal life. As many people in Illinois probably believe, in most cases, offering treatments for these conditions earlier in life could help set people up for success later on down the road.
It's definitely a sentiment that doctors and mental health specialists in Massachusetts are looking into as they try to tackle mental health issues in their state. As some news sources explain, the effort to bring together mental health professionals and pediatric care is not only helping children in the state receive more proactive treatments but offers an example of an improvement to the health system that can be applied to nearly every state in the nation.
The move to offer mental-health services in close proximity to pediatric offices is mostly in response to the growing concern that the nation's health system needs to give better recognition to children suffering from mental conditions such as depression, anxiety and attention-deficit disorders. With specialists working in close proximity to a child's primary care provider-sometimes even in the same health office-patients have much better access to treatments and therapies. And with behavioral, mental and emotional disorders being diagnosed at higher and higher rates, this closeness fosters more coordination in a patient's healthcare than ever before.
Although this new push for coordinated services may work towards addressing mental health issues at an early age, it's important to point out that many mental illnesses are not always as easily treated as others. In some cases, a child may never fully be able to control their mental disability, despite the early diagnosis. In cases where continued treatment is advised, benefits offered through Social Security may cover additional medical costs, further helping people with mental-health issues continue moving forward with their lives.
Source: The Boston Globe, "Children's access to mental care in Mass. Is growing," Patricia Wen, Mar. 18, 2013
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