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Child Mental Health Service - Essay Example

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Without a doubt, the need for child mental health services is one that has existed for some time and has gained awareness in the late 1990s. The scope and ramifications of mental illness in children was not clearly delineated until the Office of National Statistics (ONS) conducted its first national child mental health survey throughout the United Kingdom…
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Child Mental Health Service
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Download file to see previous pages In fact children who are looked-after by local authority, homeless adolescents and youthful offenders show the highest propensity for psychiatric disorders. Additionally, the statistics indicate that there is a socio-economic disparity in the incidents of mental illness among children. This disparity is such that children in households wherein the head of the households were unskilled laborers showed a fifteen percent rate of mental illness and their counterparts in households wherein the head of households were professionals showed a five percent rate of mental illness (Office of National Statistics, 2004).
In examining mental health and the provision of services to children, one has to focus on the epidemiology of mental disorders. In so doing, there are many epidemiological studies which indicated that there is an association between childhood mental health disorders and economic and social situations. There is no clear and concise causal relationship established, however, the risks for mental health issues seem to be familial, run along peer lines and to be influenced by the neighborhoods in which the sufferers reside. In fact, the ONS survey revealed that children reared in single-parent families are twice as likely to develop mental health issues as children reared in two-parent households. ...
Some of factors include psychopathology within the family, problematic attachment with regards to the children and the parents which can result from repeated separation from the parents, inadequate or inappropriate parenting as evident by child abuse/neglect, exposure to violence in the home and undesirable peer group influence (Taylor & Rutter, 2002). In order to conceptualize this, Dunn, Deater-Deckard, Pickering, O'Connor, Golding & the ALSPAC Study Team (1998) delineate a wide variety of mechanisms wherein mental health disorders can be obtained by children. These mechanisms include:
Biological factors which are exacerbated by stress on the underlying biological systems
The development of aversive coping mechanisms
Adverse effects on the underlying psychological correlates of relationship formation
Low self-esteem, self-concepts and aversive coping skills with regards to self-image.
In addition to the above-mentioned causes, there are several other pertinent issues with regards to the risks for child mental health disorders. First, there is empirical evidence that show that there is a difference in the way in which children respond to stressors. This brings to task the notion of resilience. Resilience according to Rutter (1987) involves individual variation in response to risk such that poor outcomes are reduced or good outcomes are enhanced, often beyond previous levels of adaptation. Essentially, the risk factors are characteristics of the individual or his/her environment which serve to increase the likelihood of the individual succumbing to mental illness as a direct result of poor adaptation to very difficult situations. The net effect of the risk is determined by the vulnerability ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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