19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace.

SCAMHC serves all individuals regardless of inability to pay. Discounts for essential services are offered based on family size and income. For more information, contact (334) 222-2523 or our 24/7 Helpline at 1-877-530-0002.



powered by centersite dot net
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
What Works Best to Ease Recurrent Ear Infections in Kids?Rural U.S. Schools Are Bringing Back In-Person Learning Faster Than Urban SchoolsIn Girls as Young as 7, Weight May Predict Odds for Eating DisorderRoad to Healthy Middle-Aged Brain May Begin in ChildhoodHow Summer Camps Can Shield Your Kids from Allergies, Asthma & COVIDCould Your Child Have a Heart Defect? Know the Warning SignsAir Pollution Can Harm Kids' Hearts for a LifetimePoll Finds Many Parents Hesitant to Get Younger Kids VaccinatedAHA News: Prenatal Stress Can Program a Child's Brain for Later Health IssuesFDA Plans to OK Pfizer Vaccine for Those Aged 12 and Up5 Steps to Protect Young Athletes' EyesBreathing Dirty Air Could Raise a Child's Risk for Adult Mental IllnessPandemic May Be Upping Cases of Severe Complication in Kids With DiabetesNo Genetic Damage to Kids of Those Exposed to Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster: StudyUnexplained Drop in Resting Heart Rate in Youth 'Not a Good Thing'Strike Out Kids' Overuse Injuries This Baseball SeasonMost Young Americans Eager to Get COVID Vaccine: PollMany Kids Who Develop Severe COVID-Linked Syndrome Have Neurologic SymptomsMost Parents OK About School Rules for Kids' Return to Sports: PollSome Kids Snore, and It Could Affect BehaviorKids With Autism Can Really Benefit From ExerciseFDA Approves First New Children's ADHD Drug in 10 YearsWhy Are ER Wait Times Getting Longer for Kids in Mental Health Crisis?About 40,000 U.S. Children Have Lost a Parent to COVID-19Is Empathy Born in Mom's First Hugs?Adding in Stem Cell Therapy Helps Beat a Common Childhood LeukemiaWhat Will Summer Camp Look Like This Year?When Will America's Kids Get Their COVID Vaccines?1 in 4 Parents Won't Vaccinate Their Kids Against COVID-19: PollEven in a Pandemic, Child Vision Tests Are CrucialPfizer Says Its COVID Vaccine Is Very Effective in Kids as Young as 12Secondhand Smoke Is Sending Kids to the ERDrug Shows Promise Against Rare Condition That Stunts Kids' GrowthWhen Coal-Fired Power Plants Close, Kids With Asthma Breathe EasierAnother Study Finds COVID Doesn't Spread in Schools With Proper SafeguardsNearly Half of U.S. Schools Now Offer In-Person LearningLockdowns Gave Boost to Type 1 Diabetes Control in KidsWildfire Smoke Can Send Kids With Asthma to the ERPandemic Has Many Kids Struggling With Weight IssuesLab-Made Heart Valves Can Grow Along With Youngest Heart PatientsSome Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Face High Risk of Severe COVID-19Virtual Learning Has Taken a Toll on Kids' & Parents' Mental HealthCDC Says 3 Feet of Social Distancing Now OK in Most ClassroomsWhich Kids' Sports Have Higher Odds for Head Injury?Social Distancing Probably Stopped 2020 Outbreak of Paralyzing Disorder in KidsAHA News: What Parents Should Know About Rare But Scary COVID-19-Related IllnessSchool Dental Care Program Could Cut Cavities in Half: StudySocial Media, Binge Eating Often Go Together for KidsStressed and Distracted, Kids and Their Teachers Say Virtual Learning Isn't WorkingSports Position Doesn't Affect Risk of Concussion-Linked CTE Illness
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses

Mental Illness in Childhood Could Mean Worse Physical Health Decades Later

HealthDay News
by By Ernie Mundell and Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporters
Updated: Feb 18th 2021

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- As if suffering from a mental illness as a child isn't tough enough, new research suggests it could predict higher odds for physical ills in later life.

There was one silver lining to the findings, however.

Knowing that childhood mental illness is a factor, "you can identify the people at risk for physical illnesses much earlier in life," explained study lead researcher Jasmin Wertz, a postdoctoral researcher at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

"If you can improve their mental health in childhood and adolescence, it's possible that you might intervene to improve their later physical health and aging," she said in a university news release.

In one of two studies, Wertz and her colleagues analyzed data from just over 1,000 people in New Zealand who were born in 1972 and 1973, and then followed from birth to past age 45.

By middle age, those with a childhood history of mental illness -- conditions such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse and schizophrenia -- were aging at a faster pace, had bigger declines in their sensory, motor and mental functions, and were rated by others as looking older than their peers.

The findings held even after the researchers controlled for health risk factors such as being overweight, smoking, certain medications and previous history of physical disease. The study was published online Feb. 17 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

A second study was conducted by the same team. This time, they looked at 30 years (1988 to 2018) of hospital records for 2.3 million people in New Zealand, aged 10 to 60.

That study also found a strong association between early-life mental health and medical and neurological illnesses later in life. It was published online recently in JAMA Network Open.

According to Terrie Moffitt, senior author on both studies and professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke, "The same people who experience psychiatric conditions when they are young go on to experience excess age-related physical diseases and neurodegenerative diseases when they are older adults."

The findings suggest that a bigger investment in the prompt treatment of mental illness early in life could prevent many later health problems.

"Investing more resources in treating young people's mental health problems is a window of opportunity to prevent future physical diseases in older adults," Moffitt believes. "Young people with mental health problems go on to become very costly medical patients in later life."

Two experts unconnected to the new research agreed.

Dr. Victor Fornari is vice chair of child and adolescent psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y. He believes it's important to recognize the mind-body connection for health, so that timely intervention can boost health overall.

"Despite stigma and denial, recognition of this is critical in order to promote optimal health outcomes," he said.

Just how do mental issues impair physical well-being?

According to Dr. Timothy Sullivan, factors that often accompany mental ills -- "such as smoking and obesity/lack of exercise, reduced access to and use of good health care, and lower economic achievement" -- are probably in play.

Anxiety and depression are also "associated with changes in our immune system that lead to chronic inflammation, injuring our heart, blood vessels, and other organs," said Sullivan, who directs psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City.

There are concrete things that parents and policymakers can do to reduce the danger, however.

"Directing resources to adolescents with early signs of mental health difficulties is crucial: helping them to stay in school and get better jobs; manage social stresses and improve relationships; avoid substance use, smoking and overeating leading to obesity and possible later development of diabetes," Sullivan said.

"In doing so, we will avoid unwanted health outcomes, in the end saving the much greater expense of resources that would otherwise be spent treating illness later in life," he added.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more on child and teen mental health.

SOURCES: Victor M. Fornari, MD, vice chair, child & adolescent psychiatry, Zucker Hillside Hospital , Glen Oaks, N.Y.; Timothy Sullivan, MD, chair, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City; Duke University, news release, Feb. 17, 2021