Online Program

Measuring children's mental health and mental health care needs in Colorado

Monday, November 4, 2013

Alyson Shupe, MSW, Ph.D, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO
Rickey Tolliver, MPH, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO
Introduction: There is a dearth of population based data about children's mental health in Colorado. To help fill this critical data gap, questions were added to the 2012 Colorado Child Health Survey (CHS) to measure need for mental health care, receipt of needed care, the prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety, and/or behavioral or conduct disorders, and use of medication for these conditions. Methods: The Colorado Child Health Survey is a call back survey from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (BRFSS). The BRFSS monitors health status, prevalence of chronic diseases, and self-reported risk behaviors of Colorado adults through a random-digit-dial telephone survey. During the BRFSS phone interview, the interviewer inquires if a child between the ages of 1-14 years lives in the household and about the respondent's willingness to complete a survey about the child. Approximately 2 to 4 days later, the parent is called to complete the CHS on a variety of health topics. Results: Overall, 9% of children needed mental health care in 2012. Of those, 73% received the care they needed. Six percent of children had been diagnosed with ADHD and 68% of them were taking medication, 2% of children had been diagnosed with depression, 5% with anxiety, and 3% with behavioral or conduct disorders. Identified disparities will be reviewed. Relevance: These data will be used to support health care providers, public health professionals and policy makers in understanding the extent of mental health care needs among the child population in Colorado.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe a population based method for measuring children’s mental health and mental health care needs Explain how data can be used to inform mental and physical health care providers and policy makers about the need for mental health services

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Mental Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting population based surveillance, analysis, and report writing for 12 years for the state of Colorado. I have oversight of the Colorado Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Colorado Child Health Survey.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.