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Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Pakistan

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Objective: Child mental health promotion and implementation of research initiatives have been particularly challenging in Low and Middle Income (LAMI) countries. Pakistan is one such country facing challenges in recognition, awareness and promotion of its pediatric mental health needs.

Methods: A review of the literature was done to identify the epidemiology, challenges to recognition and delivery and resources available regarding pediatric mental health disorders. From a few studies that have been done, the mean prevalence of pediatric mental health disorders was found to be15.8%. Behavioral symptoms were found to be the most common cause of referral and ADHD the most common diagnosis. The numerous challenges that developing countries like Pakistan face in the promotion and implementation of child mental health care are discussed and include stigma, illiteracy, lack of adequate statistical data and severe shortage of pediatric psychiatrists.

Results: From a few studies that have been done, the mean prevalence of pediatric mental health disorders was found to be15.8%. Behavioral symptoms were found to be the most common cause of referral and ADHD the most common diagnosis.

Conclusion: Creative ways of implementing and incorporating child mental health services within the existing systems of care are needed in LAMI countries like Pakistan.
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Keywords: Child mental health; Pakistan; developing countries; mental health services; trends

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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  • Adolescent Psychiatry publishes reports of original research, critical reviews of topics relevant to practitioners, clinical observations with analysis and discussion, analysis of philosophical, ethical or social aspects of the fields of psychiatry and mental health, case reports with discussions, letters, and position papers. Adolescent Psychiatry, a peer-reviewed journal, and the official journal of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, aims to provide mental health professionals who work with adolescents with current information relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in adolescence.
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