Mental illness is a substantial public health problem, with as many as 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 5 children and/or youth meeting diagnostic criteria for a psychiatric disorder.1–3 However, many individuals with mental illness remain unidentified and untreated, allowing mild problems to possibly progress into more severe and intractable disease. Identifying these individuals early in the course of their illness or those at risk of developing such problems and referring them to appropriate intervention can reduce the burden they may face. Mental health screenings (e.g., well-care visit screenings for depression5) are a logical step toward increased early identification of mental health problems. However, because visits with health-care providers may be brief and infrequent, relying solely on these professionals is insufficient. To identify more individuals with mental health concerns and address these issues early in their course, a broader range of the community must be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental illness and be provided with basic knowledge and skills to assist appropriately.
authors: My K. Banh, PhD, Jeremy Chaikind, MD, Hillary A. Robertson, MPH, Mary Troxel, BA, Justine Achille, MD, Caroline Egan, BA, Bruno J. Anthony, PhD
Content originally published on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29986602/