Mental illness starts in childhood but treatment lags by many years

June 20, 2005

Mental illness is—or should be—a pediatric concern. According to a new survey supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, one half the cases of mental illness in the United States developed by the time the patient was 14 years old. The really bad news? Treatment for most of these children didn't start until years—even decades—after symptoms first appeared, rendering their illness more severe and more difficult to treat.