Friday, August 07, 2009

Counting the cost of childhood mental-health problems

Little is known about the long-term economic consequences of child and adolescent mental-health problems. There has been some research into the long-term costs of conduct disorder but few long-term studies into the costs of other conditions. Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry in London and the University of Manchester studied 178 young adults. 129 had deliberately poisoned themselves in adolescence and the other 49 formed a control group for comparison purposes. Compared to the control group the self-poisoners used more service-provided accomodation, special education and hospital services, incurred greater criminal justice costs and received more social-security benefits. Higher costs in the self-poisoning group were significantly associated with conduct disorder, hopelessness, previous suicide attempts, being male and being in care prior to the self-poisoning event.

Byford, Sarah ... [et al] - Lifetime and current costs of supporting young adults who deliberately poisoned themselves in childhood and adolescence Journal of Mental Health August 2009, 18(4), 297-306

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