Mental Health Services For Teenagers Lower Depression In Adolescence: Study

Mental Health News: Researchers at University of Cambridge found that teenagers with mental health problems who access mental health services are significantly less likely to suffer from clinical depression later in their adolescence as compared to those without access to treatment.

Previous studies showed that teenagers don’t benefit from mental health services. The new study published in Lancet Psychiatry, focused on 14-year-old adolescents with mental health problems and the effect of early intervention i.e contact with mental health services.

Researchers hired 1,238 14-year-old adolescents and their primary caregivers and followed them up at the age of 17. Teenagers self-reported their depression and the research team assessed the mental state and behaviour of all the participants. 126 of the participants had a current mental illness before the study began and only 48 of them had access to mental health services in the year prior to recruitment.

By the age of 17, individuals who were depressed and accessed mental health services showed significant improvement in clinical depression.The odds of reporting clinical depression were more than seven times higher in individuals without contact to mental health services.

“Mental illness can be a terrible burden on individuals, but our study shows clearly that if we intervene at an early stage, we can see potentially dramatic improvements in adolescents’ symptoms of depression and reduce the risk that they go on to develop severe depressive illness,” says Sharon Neufeld, first author of the study.

The study findings are important and emphasize the need to increase access to mental health services for children and adolescents. They have the right to get what they need and deserve. Mental illness begins at a very early age and leaving it untreated can damage the quality of life in their adolescence.

To Know More You May Refer To

Neufeld, S. A., Dunn, V. J., Jones, P. B., Croudace, T. J., & Goodyer, I. M. (2017). Reduction in adolescent depression after contact with mental health services: A longitudinal cohort study in the UK. The Lancet Psychiatry, 4(2), 120-127. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2215-0366(17)30002-0

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