Children’s Counseling in Boise is a Good Long-term Economic Investment

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( — January 23, 2014) Boise, ID — Children’s counseling is quickly becoming  a more integral component of our nation’s health care system as studies verify the dominant prevalence of mental health disorders in children.  It is estimated that 1 in 5 children in the United States experience a mental health disorder and $247 billion is spent on childhood mental disorders in one year. [i] Additional studies estimate only 20 percent of children experiencing mental disorders receive mental health services such as children’s counseling and psychotropic medication.

From a purely economical standpoint, if services such as children’s counseling (in and out of schools) are not made more available, the repercussions of untreated mental health issues will continue to cost much more than $247 billion a year.

Financial consequences of untreated mental disorders in children

  • High school dropout rate increases.  Of students age 14 and older who live with a mental illness, about 50% drop out of high school, setting the stage for a life of economic struggle due to limited employment opportunities.[ii]
  • Increased crime rates.  The juvenile and criminal justice system jails and prisons children suffering from mental illness.  A study funded by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found approximately 75 percent of girls and 65 percent of boys in juvenile detention were found to have at least one mental illness.
  • Higher health costs as adults. When children with untreated mental health disorders become adults, “they use more health care services and incur higher health care costs than other adults.”[iii]
  • High suicide rates.  Perhaps the most alarming statistic regarding the topic is the rate of suicide.  Mental illness is the leading cause of death in children ages 15 to 24[iv], and more than 90 percent of children who commit suicide have a mental disorder.[v]

Children’s Counseling Resources

If you suspect a child in your care is suffering from a mental disorder such as ADHD, depression, or anxiety, reach out to a counselor in your community.  Search for a counselor that specializes in children’s counseling.

If the financial cost is a burden for you, let the counselor know.  There are ways to receive services without adding additional financial stress.  Group counseling services may be an appropriate way to receive services at a lower cost.  Children under 19 may qualify for assistance through Children Health Insurance Plan (CHIP)/Medicaid.  (Call 2-1-1 Idaho CareLine for more information or to request an application.)

If you live in an area with a University that offers a Counselor Education master’s program, like Boise, Idaho (which houses 3 such universities) there are opportunities for sliding scale services provided by interns.  Community counseling agencies and private practice counselors should be able to let you know if they provide children’s counseling at a sliding scale rate or refer you to someone who does.  If you end up on a wait-list, don’t give up.  Keep calling around.  Wellness Counseling Center is a private practice counseling office in Boise that specializes in working with children and adolescents.  Counselors at Wellness Counseling Center have specific training in Play Therapy, an evidence-based technique that is growing in popularity.

Read more about Play Therapy on my website.

[i] Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  Mental health surveillance among children–United States 2005-2011.  MMWR 2013; 62 (Suppl; May 16, 2013):1-35. 

[ii] U.S. Department of Education, Twenty-third annual report to Congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Washington, D.C., 2001.

[iii] Facts on Children’s Mental Health in America.  National Alliance on Mental Illness. retrieved January 30, 2014.

[iv] National Strategy for Suicide Prevention:  Goals and Objectives for Action.  Rockville, MD:  U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 2001.

[v] Shaffer, D., & Craft, L. “Methods of Adolescent Suicide Prevention.” Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 60 (Suppl. 2), 70-74, 1999.


Wellness Counseling Center

4980 W State St
Eagle, ID 83616

(208) 830-8247