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Children in Poverty at Risk of Mental Health Problems

by Medindia Content Team on June 21, 2006 at 3:02 PM
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Children in Poverty at Risk of Mental Health Problems

The British Medical Association (BMA) has claimed that children who grow up in poverty or other disadvantages are prone to develop mental health problems .

A recent report has revealed that children coming from disadvantaged backgrounds or suffer from several mental health-related problems, such as unstable tempers, insomnia and obsessive and depressive disorders.

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Those brought up in care or as asylum-seekers are also at a heightened risk.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of BMA ethics and science, has called attention to the 45 per cent of children that are being looked after by local authorities and having mental health issues.
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'These children may have come from socially and economically deprived backgrounds, and are more likely to under-perform at school,' she claims.

'Children from deprived backgrounds have a poorer start in life on many levels, but without good mental health they may not have a chance to develop emotionally and reach their full potential in life.'

Physiological factors seem more to contribute to the link between poverty and mental health problem rather than environmental factors.

The report submitted by BMA has suggested that diet and physical exercise play crucial role in mental health, often a challenge faced by those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The report has called for renewed scientific research into these links in addition to improvement in the innovation and flexibility of the care services provided by the government.

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