Making the connection: the mental health needs of adolescents

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Excerpt

‘If we don’t address the stresses you’re experiencing, I fear we will not make progress in managing your headaches’, I say to the 16-year-old sitting in front of me, her eyes turned down, legs shaking up and down. It may come as no surprise that the mind–body connection plays an integral role in many diagnoses and, at times, can be the key to successful treatment [1,2]. Yet, how often do medical practitioners screen for mental illness in a systematic way? How often are mind–body therapies utilized in treatment plans with referral to mental health specialists? Time, resources, the availability of referral options, and stigma are barriers to the diagnosis of mental health issues and to the subsequent receipt of effective, comprehensive care [3,4].
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