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Poverty and child mental health

25th June 2006

11042006_boy_lonely.jpgPoverty and deprivation are major risk factors in children developing a mental health disorder, a report by the British Medical Association has found.

Children from poorer backgrounds, children in care, asylum seeker children and those who have witnessed domestic violence are all at greater risk of developing problems, says the report Child and Adolescent Mental Health – a guide for healthcare professionals.

One in 10 children aged between one and 15 have a mental health disorder, but mental health services are not tailored for their ages and lifestyles, and not enough account is taken of language and cultural differences.

The report recommends that strategies for child and adolescent mental health be fully implemented, and a shortage of mental healthcare professionals be tackled by the government.

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