Examining Current Issues in Child Mental Health

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University of Toronto at Scarborough|
Behind the Story: Examining Current Issues in Child Mental Health| HLTB02 Issues in Child Health and Development # Assignment 1| |
By Varshanie Thakur|
6/25/2012|
Tutorial: Tut0001- Shin, Kwang Ho
Professor: Jason T. Ramsay

Introduction
In today’s society, a major concern that ought to ensure success in a country’s future is the positive development, growth and health of children. According to the World Health Organization, children are susceptible to acquiring malnutrition, along with having a higher prevalence rate of diseases compared to any other age group (WHO, 2012). Likewise, these susceptibilities in children are determined by the social determinants of health; known as conditions set in place in order to combat illness and are dependent on the country’s power, wealth and economy (WHO, 2012). In this critical review, the social gradient and social determinants of health are used in order to analyze the impact of society on child mental health and development. From a Canadian perspective of the social the determinants of health, the following topics that are addressed in the critical analysis of child mental health include three social determinants. These determinants consist of the early child hood development vs. race/ethnicity, early child hood development vs. health services, and early child hood development vs. social exclusion. While the article, “Call for Help (HL)” By Suzanna Pillay, reports the significant view that the children’s help line service is known to be the number one coping method for children with negative psychological issues; however, this is not the case since the primary solution to avoiding child mental health issues is with the main help of the primary care giver, general public and global organizations. Summary of “Call for Help” By Suzanna Pillay

The article’s overall message describes children being a susceptible being to mental health issues that occur due to many factors, however, those issues can be reduced and prevented during the first three years of development with the help of several caregivers. Suzanne mentions that the children’s helpline is the main route to determining what’s wrong with the children who call because many tend to seek help there rather than to their primary caregivers, their parents. In addition, research and statistics from the child helpline shows that some of the mental disorders that the children acquire are a lack of confidence, eating disorders, phobias, obsessions, anxiety, suicidal, loneliness and depression. According to the article, the central solution to fight against the odds of children developing mental health problems in their later years is to provide a positive environment both external and internal that will lead them to a stable life. Overall, although the article layout many viewpoints, issues and solutions toward child mental health, in the end it comes down to the fact that the early years of a child’s development is critical and consists of many components such as brain development, emotions, stability and perception in life, coping, and health. Critical Analysis

To begin with, from a Canadian perspective they believe that early childhood development (ECD) is one of the important social determinants of health to draw upon on when analyzing child mental health. As mentioned in the article, the first three years are vital for a child’s emotional and development and control; whereas increasing stress hormones can affect the development of the brain. However, on the social gradient scale the early years of development can vary between different races and ethnicities. For instance, according to an article by Christina Gamache Martin and her colleges, research has shown to indicate that there are racial and ethnic disparities; where African Americans are more prone to higher cortisol levels than Caucasians and Latinos had lower levels of cortisol than Caucasians (Evidence...
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