How are the Children: Challenges and Opportunities in Improving Children's Mental Health
The mental health of children is critical to their growth and development, but when their well-being is considered, discussions more often gravitate toward physical health, nutrition, education, parental influences, and living conditions. While these all represent important indicators of well-being, discussions also need to consider the importance of children’s mental and behavioral health. In this brief we explore the status of Southern Nevada’s children as it relates to mental health outcomes. Using a secondary analysis of multiple primary datasets, including the National Survey of Children’s Health; Mental Illness Surveillance among Children in the United States; and the Mental Health National Outcome Measure, we analyze the mental health status of children in Southern Nevada. In doing so we provide an overview of services, access, and the implications of the Affordable Care Act. Outcomes are considered in relation to peer states as well as national indicators. This brief provides implications for strengthening the overall mental health service infrastructure, service delivery, and community capacity so that children will experience optimal mental health outcomes.