Preventive Psychiatry in Children and Adolescents: Current Status and Future
Psychological wellbeing of children and adolescents is understandably necessary for a healthy development.It has a bearing on not only the mental health, but also the emotional, social, physical, and cognitive outcomes as the individual grows up . Mental health hurdles are ascommon and debilitating as the physical health problems for the younger populations. It is estimated that more than 200 million children worldwide from low-middle income classes fail to achieve their developmental potential due to multiple causes withmental disorders featuring prominently amongst these disorders. Up to half of the mental, emotional and behavioral (MEB) disorders develop before the age of 14 years and up to three fourth by the age of 24 years. Therefore, preventive strategies are likely to be more effective whenapplied at an early age. First symptoms of MEB disorders usually occur two to four years prior to diagnoses and thereforeprovide a window for application of indicated preventive interventions. Lower and middle-income countries (LAMICs) have one of the largest populations in the child and adolescent age group but limited mental health services.Thus mental health promotion and prevention become even more important in these countries. The preoccupation of the available psychiatric professionals in LAMICsis mainly illness management causing a perceptible delay in mental health promotion and preventive efforts.