California Children With Limited English Can’t Get Mental Healthcare

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In the midst of the ongoing national debate on youth mental health sparked by the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy and, more recently, the UC Santa Barbara rampage, troubling data has emerged showing a massive deficit in services provided to California children in need of mental health care, in particular children from homes with limited English proficiency.

More than 300,000 California children between the ages of 4 and 11 need mental health care, but only 1 in 4 is treated, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research — this, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending early childhood intervention as a critical step in reducing the severity of mental health problems in adulthood.

“Without early assessment, you miss warning signs, as well as opportunities to intervene,” said D. Imelda Padilla-Frausto, a researcher at the Center and lead author of the study. “Waiting can lead to more serious problems later.”

Read more here.