Affiliation: Cooper University Hospital, 401 Haddon Ave., Camden, NJ 08103.
Background and Objectives: There has been very little research on child/adolescent mental health in the Philippines compared to other developing countries. The few reports that exist have been case studies, literature reviews, intervention research (particularly disaster mental health studies), and surveys and studies on Filipino immigrants in other countries. As part of the World Health Organization (WHO) Seven Nation Collaborative Study (2007), the Philippine study showed that 16% of children had mental disorders. Method: Drawing on population-based studies, this article explores the challenging issues of mental health care for youth in the Philippines and will also provide suggestions that can help in improving these challenges. Results: Unlike many other developing countries, the Philippines has a national health policy. Filipinos, both in their native and adoptive countries, greatly underutilize public outpatient mental health services compared to other Asian populations. Conclusions: Along with stigma, the adherence of traditional practices and healing methods remains a formidable barrier to the appropriate provision of care Furthermore, the onset of mental illness in childhood and adolescents can be missed without appropriate screening and services.