Pediatricians Urged To Increase Mental Health Screenings

06.01.10 |

An American Academy of Pediatrics task force has issued new guidelines urging doctors to step up screening for mental health issues in children. The recommendations are published in a supplement to the journal "Pediatrics." They call for pediatricians to look for warning signs of autism, anxiety, ADHD and related disorders every time a child comes in for a routine checkup. More comprehensive screenings are recommended at certain critical ages. Pediatricians are also encouraged to build a network of local mental health professionals who can see young patients needing further evaluation. The task force cites a shrinking number of child psychiatrists and an increased rate of childhood mental health disorders as reasons why pediatricians need to pay more attention to kids' mental health needs.