Less than half of youth with mental illness received adequate follow-up care, study finds

November 19, 2012, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Youth with mental illness are among the most vulnerable, but new research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has found that less than half of Ontario youth aged 15 to 19 hospitalized with a psychiatric diagnosis received follow-up care with a primary care doctor or psychiatrist within a month after being discharged.

"Timely aftercare is crucial in maintaining the health of youth with mental illness, and avoids future hospitalization, which is the most intensive, intrusive and expensive setting," said Dr. Corine Carlisle, Clinical Head of CAMH's Youth Addiction and Concurrent Disorders Service. "What is concerning is that some of those most in need are not receiving follow-up, including youth with lower socioeconomic status and those who have been diagnosed with more than one mental illness."

Dr. Carlisle and her team studied the of more than 7,000 adolescents in Ontario discharged between 2002-2004, and found gaps in follow-up care which seemed to be linked to demographics and diagnoses. The study was published in the November 2012 issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

The research found that adolescents who did not receive follow-up care were more likely to be from Northern Ontario (2 per cent), female (57 per cent), live in rural areas (18 per cent), suffer from a (37 per cent) and have exhibited self-harm or (12 per cent).

"There are only one-tenth the in Ontario needed to meet the needs of youth with severe mental illness," added Dr. Carlisle. "Clinical and policy efforts are needed to redress the socioeconomic and geographic disparities and improve timely access to mental health aftercare for all youth."

Rob Moore, Executive Director of CAMH's Provincial System Support Program, points out that these efforts are already underway. CAMH is creating 'service collaboratives' across Ontario to try to close some of the gaps in for children and youth. This is part of Ontario's Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, which is focusing its first investment in improving the mental health of young people. "The research study being released today shows that our efforts are needed and that we are on the right track," said Moore.

Explore further: High toll of mental illness and addictions must be addressed

Related Stories

High toll of mental illness and addictions must be addressed

October 10, 2012
Mental illnesses and addictions take more of a toll on the health of Ontarians than cancer or infectious diseases, according to a new report by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Public Health Ontario – ...

25 percent of Ontarians hospitalized for depression required ER visit or readmission within 30 days

August 3, 2011
August 3, 2011 – (Toronto) – Twenty-five percent of people who were hospitalized for depression were readmitted or visited an emergency room again for depression within 30 days of discharge, according to a new study ...

First North American study to look at ED use by adults with intellectual disabilities

May 13, 2011
In the first North American study to examine population rates of Emergency Department (ED) use for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), researchers from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences ...

New research supports youth with mood and anxiety disorders

April 11, 2012
75% of mental illnesses emerge by age 25. Mood and anxiety disorders are among the most common conditions, yet there is little support for youth in this age group. A new study from Lawson Health Research Institute shows that ...

Recommended for you

Intensive behavior therapy no better than conventional support in treating teenagers with antisocial behavior

January 19, 2018
Research led by UCL has found that intensive and costly multisystemic therapy is no better than conventional therapy in treating teenagers with moderate to severe antisocial behaviour.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

Modulating molecules: Study shows oxytocin helps the brain to modulate social signals

January 17, 2018
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the ...

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.