Priority mental health disorders of children and adolescents in primary-care pediatric setting in India 1: developing a child and adolescent mental health policy, program, and service model

Indian J Pediatr. 2012 Jan:79 Suppl 1:S19-26. doi: 10.1007/s12098-011-0426-9. Epub 2011 Jun 10.


India has a huge child and adolescent population. Psychiatric disorders are widely prevalent and the mental health needs of these children are well recognized. Nonetheless, there are no country-centric and child specific mental health policies, plans or programs. There is also a significant lack of human resources for child and adolescent mental health in India. This combination of factors makes the primary care a critical setting for the early identification, treatment, consultation and referral of children and adolescents with mental health and developmental needs. Even though the importance of primary care as a system for addressing the mental health care has been recognized for decades, its potential requires further development in India as the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) emerge and evolve. A country and child specific mental health policy, plan and program needs to be formulated as well an integrated, multi-tier CAMHS with a focus on the primary-care physicians as care providers for this population has to be developed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services*
  • Child
  • Child Health Services*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Mental Health*
  • National Health Programs*
  • Pediatrics
  • Primary Health Care