Factors Affecting Parental Help seeking for Children with Mental Health Problems

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Background. Childhood mental health problems have an early onset, are highly prevalent, and persistent into adolescents’ and adulthood, and left untreated, mental health problems are exacerbated by comorbid disorders. Early screening and intervention for childhood mental health is key to improved outcomes. Very young children that experience emotional or behavioural problems rely primarily on their parents for help-seeking on their behalf. Parents often do not recognize problematic behaviour that requires further evaluation and treatment. Without parental help-seeking, these children’s mental health problems remain undetected and untreated throughout the lifespan. Understanding what perceived barriers and facilitators exist for parents that have children with problematic behaviours, can inform the development of early intervention programs aimed at very young children (i.e., 5 years old and under). The aim of this thesis by publication was to examine the barriers and facilitators to help-seeking for parents with children that have emotional and behavioural problems. Methods. Two published studies of perceived barriers and facilitators to help-seeking for parents of young children were identified through searches using PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase, and CINAHL databases. Data was extracted and summarized in tables. Results. Parents reported perceived barriers to be: (a) child’s problems being identified as transient and part of a stage that will go way on their own, (b) not knowing what services were available, and (c) not knowing what sources were available for help. Conclusions. Increased research and development of early screening and intervention programs that target parents of very young children will improve mental health outcomes for children, their families, and communities.
Mental Health, Nursing
Harvalik, P. (2017). Factors Affecting Parental Help seeking for Children with Mental Health Problems (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/26145