Asian Children Least Likely to Receive Mental Health Treatment, Report Shows.

Recent mental health treatment among children varied significantly by race and ethnicity in 2021.

Article By: Chris Gilligan

Blog Source From : www.usnews.com

Asian children in the U.S. were the least likely to have received recent mental health treatment during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic when compared with kids of other racial and ethnic groups, according to a report published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Overall, the report shows, nearly 15% of children between the ages of 5 and 17 had received mental health treatment within the past 12 months in 2021, meaning they reportedly took medication for their mental health, saw a mental health counselor or therapist, or both.

Just 4.4% of non-Hispanic Asian children had received recent mental health treatment, amounting to about a quarter of the rate for non-Hispanic white children. The rate for Asian children was also well below the rates of non-Hispanic Black children (12.5%) and of Hispanic children (10.3%), according to the report, which features estimates based on 2021 survey data.


The nonpartisan data center USAFacts reports the most common mental health diagnoses among children 3 to 17 years old from 2016 to 2019 included attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and anxiety. CDC data shows 9.8% of children within that age range and time frame had ever been diagnosed with ADHD, while 9.4% had dealt with anxiety problems, according to a health care provider, and 8.9% had ever received a diagnosis of behavioral or conduct problems.

Notably, that data predates the COVID-19 pandemic, during which mental health worsened among U.S. high school students and particularly among girls.

Medication and therapy or counseling can be among the “frontline treatments” for mental health disorders for children, the new report says. Yet just 2.3% of Asian children were reported to have taken medication for their mental health within the study’s time frame, compared with the national mark of 8.2%. And while 11.5% of children in the U.S. had received recent counseling or therapy, just 3.1% of Asian children had.

Despite typically lower rates of mental health issues reported among Asian people, experts have pointed to cultural stigma as fueling their lower mental health treatment rates. A separate CDC report shows Asian adults between the ages of 18 and 44 also had the lowest mental health treatment rate among racial and ethnic groups from 2019 to 2021, though that rate increased from 6% to 10.8% over the period.


The new CDC report also shows different rates of mental health treatment among children and adolescents across different urbanization levels, with 19.1% of young people in nonmetropolitan regions receiving treatment compared with 14% in large metropolitan areas and 14.9% in medium or small metropolitan areas.

Despite access issues that can plague rural areaspast research reported such a result was “consistent with findings of higher psychotropic prescription usage seen among children with mental health disorders living in rural areas compared with urban areas.”

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