Children and Adolescents With Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders (page 3)

— Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Updated on Dec 16, 2008


Young people with schizophrenia have psychotic periods that may involve hallucinations, withdrawal from others, and loss of contact with reality. Other symptoms include delusional or disordered thoughts and an inability to experience pleasure. Schizophrenia occurs in about five of every 1,000 children (National Institutes of Health, 1997).

Treatment, Support Services, and Research: Sources of Hope

Now, more than ever before, there is hope for young people with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Most of the symptoms and distress associated with childhood and adolescent mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders can be alleviated with timely and appropriate treatment and supports.

In addition, researchers are working to gain new scientific insights that will lead to better treatments and cures for mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Innovative studies also are exploring new ways of delivering services to prevent and treat these disorders. Research efforts are expected to lead to more effective use of existing treatments, so children and their families can live happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

Many of these research studies are funded by Federal agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, including the:

  • National Institutes of Health
    • National Institute of Mental Health
    • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    • National Institute on Drug Abuse
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    • Center for Mental Health Services
    • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
    • Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Administration for Children and Families
  • Health Resources and Services Administration

Related activities are taking place within the:

  • Department of Education
  • Department of Justice

This is one of many fact sheets in a series on children's mental health disorders. All the fact sheets listed below are written in an easy-to-read style. Families, caretakers, and media professionals may them helpful when researching particular mental health disorders. To obtain free copies, call 1-800-789-2647 or visit

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Other Fact Sheets in this Series are:

Order Number Title
CA-0000 Caring for Every Child's Mental Health Campaign Products Catalog
CA-0004 Child and Adolescent Mental Health
CA-0005 Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Glossary of Terms
CA-0007 Children and Adolescents With Anxiety Disorders
CA-0008 Children and Adolescents With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
CA-0009 Children and Adolescents With Autism
CA-0010 Children and Adolescents With Conduct Disorder
CA-0011 Children and Adolescents With Severe Depression
CA-0014 Facts About Systems of Care for Children's Mental Health

Important Messages About Children's and Adolescents' Mental Health

  • Every child's mental health is important.
  • Many children have mental health problems.
  • These problems are real and painful and can be severe.
  • Mental health problems can be recognized and treated.
  • Caring families and communities working together can help.

Mental Health Resources on the Internet

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Institute of Mental Health

For information about children's mental health, contact SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center:

Toll-free: 800-789-2647
Fax: 240-747-5470
TDD: 866-889-2647

Systems of Care

Some children diagnosed with severe mental health disorders may be eligible to obtain comprehensive and community-based services through systems of care for children's mental health. Systems of care help children with serious emotional disturbances and their families cope with the challenges of very difficult mental health, emotional, or behavioral problems. To learn more about systems of care, call 301-443-1333, or to request a free fact sheet on systems of care, call 1-800-789-2647.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1999). Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

National Institutes of Health. (1999). Brief Notes on the Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Retrieved September 5, 2001, from the World Wide Web.

National Institutes of Health. (2001). Fact Sheet: Going to Extremes, Bipolar Disorder. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health.

National Institutes of Health. (1997). Press Release: Progressive Brain Changes Detected in Childhood Onset Schizophrenia.
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