Mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) disorders in children have hit epidemic levels. In the U.S. alone, 1 in 8 children will suffer from an anxiety disorder, and 1 in 5 will experience an episode of depression by the age of eighteen. Although it’s true that kids who receive treatments such as therapy can overcome these conditions, the reality is that two-thirds of them will never receive any type of treatment. Most kids suffer in silence and go on to endure a nasty ripple effect of recurrent episodes throughout their lives.
Despite the staggering number of children affected by MEBs, there is still much misunderstanding regarding the control one has in overcoming a disorder. According to the CDC, “Only 25% of adults with mental health symptoms believed that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness.” They don’t have a corresponding statistic for children, but it makes you wonder.
Artist, Robert Hugs, has created a poignant comic to provoke discourse about mental illness. Try this for a conversation starter: What if we treated physical illness just like mental illness?
Renee is the Chief Storyteller at GoZen.com, a site dedicated to delivering anxiety relief and well-being programs to children.