Journal article

Parents' help-seeking processes for early childhood mental health problems

Elizabeth Oh, Jordana K Bayer

Child and Adolescent Mental Health | WILEY-BLACKWELL | Published : 2015


BACKGROUND: Mental health problems affect up to one in five children and adolescents. Yet less than one quarter will access the appropriate professional help. This study explored parents' help-seeking processes for young children with mental health problems. METHODS: The present study followed up 442 6-year-old children of an original 733 infants (60% retention) who had been recruited from routine universal maternal and child health well-child appointments. An adapted help-seeking model was applied to a subsample of 84 children with mental health problems. RESULTS: Less than one third of parents whose child had a mental health problem accessed any type of professional service for their child..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This follow-up study was supported by an Equity Trustees Grant, an Australian Postgraduate Award, an Australian Rotary Health Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Public Health Capacity Building Grant postdoctoral fellowships. The authors would like to thank families of the Victorian Cities of Glen Eira, Greater Geelong, Kingston, Maribyrnong, Nillumbik and Stonnington who took part in this research.