Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Prevention of child psychiatric disorders

The Department of Health publication Saving Lives, emphasized disease prevention and health promotion as one of its objectives. Specific mention was made of the reduction of suicide as a mental health target. The paper also acknowledged the importance of the mental health of children and adolescents and their vulnerability to physical, intellectual and emotional behaviour disorders which, if untreated, could have serious implications for adult life. Three types of prevention are recognized.

The aim of primary prevention is to reduce the possible incidence of a disorder in a population before its onset. Secondary prevention is aimed at early diagnosis and intervention to minimize the impact on the patient and carers. Tertiary prevention has the goal of limiting the physical social effects of the disorder. In undertaking primary preventative intervention, several factors need to be considered and these include risk factor, protective factors and the vulnerability of the individual to a particular disorder. Risk factors may arise from the genetic background, problems during pregnancy and maternal infection or malnutrition. Good antenatal care can help to minimize these risks.

Primary preventative work can also protect the child from the adverse effects of birth trauma, accidents, exposure to infection, deprivation and abuse through timely intervention. Protective factors include adaptable temperament, a good relationship with a significant adult caretaker and experience of areas in which the child has a good experience such as sports or school. Several studies  have shown that a proportion of children exposed to gross deprivation and severe stress are resilient to developing psychiatric disorder, although the precise reasons why some children are resilient is not understood. The formation of secure attachments and the ability to be selfreflective are seen as protective factors. The need for secondary and tertiary preventative work in early identification and intervention is discussed further below.

Post Footer automatically generated by wp-posturl plugin for wordpress.


Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some of our content is collected from Internet, please contact us when some of them is tortious. Email: