A survey released today by Parents magazine and the Child Mind Institute shows how the tragedy in Newtown, CT has influenced public opinion on children's mental health issues. The results show that more than half of adults think psychiatric disorders in children are underdiagnosed.
NEW YORK, NY (May 9, 2013) – The majority (66.4%) of adults think that parents are now more likely to seek help if their child’s behavior worries them, according to an exclusive survey of more than 1,600 parents conducted by Parents magazine and the Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming mental health care for children everywhere. The survey was conducted to achieve a better understanding of parents' attitudes about children's mental health in the wake of the Newtown, CT tragedy.
The survey findings are released on National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day (May 9) as part of the Child Mind Institute’s Speak Up for Kids campaign, a month-long online dialogue that brings mental health leaders, over 75 partner organizations and parents together.
Key findings from the survey include:
- More than half (54.6%) of the respondents think that psychiatric disorders in children are underdiagnosed
- The majority (60.6%) of the respondents think that parents of children with mental health problems should not be allowed to have a gun in their home
- More than half (59.5%) of the respondents are concerned that kids who have a mental illness such as Asperger's syndrome or depression are more likely to hurt themselves or others
- The majority (61%) of the respondents think that it is often difficult for parents to know whether or not their child’s behavior is abnormal
- Most (76.1%) of the respondents said they would know where to turn for help if their child was exhibiting signs of mental illness
"Parents and the Child Mind Institute teamed up to bring the national dialogue on children's mental illness to the forefront," says Diane Debrovner, deputy editor of Parents. "In the wake of the Newtown, CT tragedy, it’s more important than ever to actively discuss children’s mental illness and to further educate families on how to cope."
CMI's Speak Up for Kids campaign features a series of free online events that give parents the information they need to help remove stigma and get kids effective mental health care. Learn more about the campaign at childmind.org/speakup.
"Early identification and intervention can change, even save lives, and we owe it to our kids to get them the help they deserve," says Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, president of the Child Mind Institute. "This survey is as a good reminder of why we take time to Speak Up for Kids."
The complete results of the Parents magazine/CMI survey can be found at Parents.com.