February 25, 2000                                            Issue 7

The NPC News Bulletin is brought to you by the National Parent Consortium (NPC), a project of the National Parent Network on Disabilities. Each  issue of the NPC News Bulletin features a different theme and highlights Consortium activities and related maternal and child health, as well as other health-related information for families. This issue focuses on mental health awareness for families.

We invite you to visit the National Parent Consortium website to learn more about who we are and what we do at

Children and Adolescents Mental Health 

For free information, referrals and resources call 1-800789-2647; TDD

Healthy People 2000/2010

Healthy People is the prevention agenda for the Nation. It is a statement of national opportunities-a tool that identifies the most significant preventable threats to health and focuses public and private sector efforts to address those threats. Healthy People offers a simple but powerful idea: provide the information and knowledge about how to improve health in a format that enables diverse groups to combine their efforts and work as a team. It is a road map to better health for all that can be used by many different people, states and communities, businesses, professional organizations, groups whose concern is a particular threat to health, or a particular population group. Since its inception in 1979, Healthy People has moved the nation from assessing health status to projecting and forecasting what is possible to achieve through preventive interventions and proven clinical preventive services. Mental Health and Mental Disorders is a priority area in both the Healthy People 2000 and 2010 initiatives. Below are excerpts from Healthy People 2010.

Mental Health and Mental Disorders 

Mental disorders are health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof), which are associated with distress and/or impaired functioning and spawn a host of human problems that may include disability, pain, or death.

Mental disorders occur across the lifespan, affecting persons of all racial and ethnic groups, both sexes, and all educational and socioeconomic groups. At least one in five children and adolescents between ages 9 and 17 has a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Mental and behavioral disorders and serious emotional disturbances in children and adolescents can lead to school failure, alcohol or illicit drug use, violence, or suicide. About 5 percent of children and adolescents are extremely impaired by mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders. Prevention scientists have developed, tested, and structured preventive interventions against depression, conduct disorder, and other adverse outcomes in high risk groups of children. When applied with fidelity, preventive interventions can decrease risk of onset or delay onset of a disorder. Despite the effectiveness of treatment and the many paths to obtaining a treatment of choice, only 25% of persons with a mental disorder obtain help for their illness in the health care system.

Consumer and family organizations, which formed out of concern over frequent fragmentation of mental health services and lack of accessibility to such services, have assumed a substantial role in supporting development of mental health services.

Visit the Healthy People 2000/2010 website at Or you may contact the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at (202) 205-8583 or 1 (800) 367-4725.

Children and Adolescents' Mental Health Services Technical Assistance and Research Centers

Services may include technical assistance, information and referral, on-site consultation, training, library services, publications, annotated bibliographies, etc. Information can be accessed through: National Mental Health Services, Knowledge Exchange Network at 800-789-2647; Electronic Bulletin Board 800-790-2647;

National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health Georgetown University Child Development Center Washington, DC Phone: (202) 687-5000 FAX: (202) 687-8899 Information packets, issue briefs and monographs on children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances

National Resource Network on Child and Family Mental Health Services
Washington Business Group on Health Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 408-9320 FAX: (202)408-9332
Technical assistance in developing family-focuses, culturally competent, community-based, multi-agency service delivery systems in 22 sites.

Research & Training Center on Family Support and Children's Mental Health - Regional Research Institute of Portland Oregon State University Phone: (503) 725-4040 FAX: (503) 725-4180 Research and training focused on family support issues, family/professional collaboration, and diverse cultural groups

The Federation of Families For Children's Mental Health

The Federation is a national parent run organization focused on the needs of children and youth with emotional, behavioral or mental disorders and their families. Its mission is to provide leadership in the field of children's mental health and develop necessary human and financial resources to meet its goals. To address the unique needs of children and youth with emotional, behavioral or mental disorders from birth through transition to adulthood. To ensure the rights to full citizenship, support and access to community-based services for all children and youth with emotional, behavioral or mental disorders and their families. To provide information and engage in advocacy regarding research, prevention, early intervention, family support, education, transition services and other services needed by our children, youth and families.

Federation of Families For Children's Mental Health
1021 Prince Street Alexandria, VA 22314-2971
703-684-7710 Fax: 703-836-1040