Depression in children and young people

Kelvin, R. Paediatrics and Child Health. Published online: October 22 2016

http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/a4/cc/3b7316e81fb856e6635208c700c0.jpg

Image source: Stephen Magrath – Wellcome Images // CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

Depression is a common and important health problem affecting the lives of many children and young adults. For many sufferers it has its roots in later childhood. The incidence increases sharply from early adolescence onwards. Depression manifests with increasing frequency as early adult life approaches and represents an escalating set of impairments across personal, family, social and educational life of children and young people. Its under-detection and under-treatment in the UK NHS is a major public health and personal safety issue, deserving of attention.

The longer term societal implications are significant in terms of lost education opportunity, decreased earnings, personal distress and risk of subsequent mental ill and indeed physical ill health outcomes. This article seeks to alert the clinician to the symptomatology and thereby assist in righting this major health inequality, so that the future of depression care can be different from the past, and closer to ‘parity of esteem’ with the care deemed routine for major debilitating common physical health conditions in the UK.

Read the abstract here

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