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September 21, 2004

Teens and Mental Illness

Teens and Mental Illness

This week NPR had a good program on Teens and Mental Illness. Mental illness in kids affects the whole family. Parents and their children have to balance medical treatments, therapy and stigma with the not-so-simple act of growing up.

Excerpt from the program:

"Finding the right treatment for mental illness is never easy. For parents who have children with mental health problems, deciding what to do is even thornier. Picking the right therapist, determining whether a child needs medication takes time. Many kids are resistant to intervention, and parents often struggle to identify the warning signs. For some families, the rising cost of health care means deciding whether to pay out of pocket for extended treatment or costly prescription drugs. To add to that, the information about the effects that medication has on young people is confusing and can be frightening. Last week, a panel of medical experts concluded that a group of antidepressants known as SSRIs should come with stronger warnings that they raise the risk of suicide among young people.

This hour, a look at how families make decisions about mental illness in children and adolescents. We're going to talk to one family that successfully navigated through the complicated web of options. And we want to hear from your calls a little later. If you're a parent whose child has a mental illness, tell us about your decision-making process. Where did you get your information from? Did you involve your child in the process? If you're a young person who's been diagnosed with a mental illness, how did you decide what to do?"

NPR Audio Recording - Teens and Mental Illness


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