Public Health Goals
- Increased funding for research on the causes, nature, and best treatment for early-onset bipolar disorder.
- Public service announcements to inform the public about mood disorders in the young.
- Access to appropriate evaluation and treatment for all children and adolescents with mood disorders.
- Epidemiological studies on mood disorders in children and adolescents.
- Education for school children about brain disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder, and screening for emerging brain disorders in children.
- Non-discriminatory insurance coverage for bipolar and other brain disorders equal to coverage for other medical conditions.
- Mandatory reporting by hospital and public safety personnel of anonymous statistical data on suicide attempts by children and adolescents.
- Adherence by researchers to the highest ethical standards for drug trials of psychiatric medications in children and adolescents
Public Awareness Facts
- Bipolar disorder can and does occur in childhood and adolescence.
- Bipolar disorder resembles, or often co-occurs with, ADHD and other neurobiological conditions.
- Qualified professionals can identify children at risk for early-onset bipolar disorder and diagnose bipolar disorder in children and adolescents.
- Symptoms of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents can be reduced or managed with appropriate treatment.
- Early diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents may prevent a worsening course of illness, school avoidance, substance abuse, and impulsive acts of aggression against loved ones, self, and others.
- Medications commonly used to treat bipolar disorder in adults, such as lithium and other mood stabilizers, may be effective in many children, but more research on effective treatments is needed.
- Children and adolescents with bipolar disorder often need, and are entitled to, flexible accommodations at school (including Individual Educational Plans) to meet their unique educational needs.
- Children with bipolar disorder respond best to parenting and educational methods that take account of their neurobiological condition.