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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Department of Health and Human Services

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services

Last Updated: 6/22/2012

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SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)

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Approximately 9 million children in the United States have serious emotional problems at any given time. Yet only 1 in 5 of these children is receiving appropriate treatment. Misperceptions about mental illnesses can prevent children and their families from seeking help. Misinformation and myths surrounding serious emotional disturbances of children and youth create social exclusion and feed discrimination at school, after-school activities, child care, and more. Anyone working with a child needs additional information about serious emotional disturbances so they can provide accurate portrayals of what mental illnesses are, and what they are not, to reduce discrimination and negative attitudes that are oftentimes associated with serious emotional disturbances.

This section offers information for children, parents, teachers, and caregivers about mental health and serious emotional disturbances of children and adolescents, the discrimination and social exclusion they may face, and supports available to them. (Additional information for teachers is available under Education.)

This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.