1/3 of CA Children Who Need Mental Health Treatment Fail to Receive It

March 9, 2017


Thirty-seven percent of California children who need mental health treatment failed to receive it, according to the most recent data available on Madera, Merced, Monterey, and Tulare counties had the lowest rates of all counties with available data, with nearly half of children who need mental health treatment failing to receive it in the previous 12 months.

Screening, early identification, and treatment are critical, as untreated mental illness can disrupt children’s development, academic achievement, and their ability to lead healthy, productive lives.

Policy options that could support mental health care services include ensuring that mental health funding is aligned with high-risk populations, improving coordinated, cross-sector strategies by integrating mental health services with other systems, promoting mental health training for pediatricians, and expanding the workforce of qualified mental health professionals serving youth.

Receipt of Mental Health Services Among Children Who Need Treatment or Counseling

Year: 2011-2012

Related Data

Children's Emotional Health

Community Connectedness

Disconnected Youth

School Connectedness

Youth Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use

Youth Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use


Kidsdata Tip

Join Kidsdata and the California Department of Public Health on March 29 for a webinar on Childhood Adversity: Data to Help Advocate for Change. Read more and register.


Helpful Links

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Mental Health

National Institute of Mental Health: Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Overlooked and Underserved: "Action Signs" for Identifying Children with Unmet Mental Health Needs, Pediatrics

Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience, National Scientific Council on the Developing Child

Three Out of Four Children with Mental Health Needs in California Do Not Receive Treatment Despite Having Health Care Coverage, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing


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