Access to mental health services for children with a rare disease or other medical or mental health disorder is the focus of an online survey by therapists at Children’s Friend, an affiliate of the Seven Hills Foundation.
The foundation, based in Worcester, Massachusetts, runs a variety of programs through its 14 affiliate groups to support families with “disabilities and significant life challenges.”
A research team at Children’s Friend launched the survey to identify ways of making access to mental healthcare easier for parents and their children, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MS Focus) announced in a press release.
A previous study looking at these children and teenagers reported a link between the need for specialized care and the increased risk of mental health and behavioral concerns in this patient population. Its researchers emphasized the importance of multidisciplinary care in pediatric MS, and the inclusion of mental health services.
However, families can face barriers to the support offered by a mental health specialist. This survey study aims to understand the factors and obstacles that prevent families from ready access to mental health care.
“In this study, we are defining a barrier as any factor or obstacle that prevents access to mental health services that a child needs,” state the two therapists organizing the survey and the study that will come from it.
Parents or guardians with a child under age 18 with MS or other medical disorder, a rare disease, or mental health issues are invited to take part.
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