In this medical health video Dr. Insel discusses the value of thinking about mental health in context, and involving family members in the treatment process.
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What is the impact of a supportive family on mental health in children? Dr. Thoma Insel: The people often ask so what about the family and this is a fascinating study that was recently published from Myrna Weissman and her collaborators, they took the sub-group of the women who are depressed in a our Star * D sample, it's a very large multi-side national study of the treatment of depression. And they followed not these women per se they follow their children over a several months while these women were being treated and they've reported something really astounding, I think, I mean may it's not that surprising but the effect size was really astounding that in the woman who were receiving treatment and who improved in their depression, their children actually did extremely well, they had actually a higher rate of psychopathology in their kids and then psychopathology in the children began to vanish over those 3-4 months that they were improved. Remarkable, because these were kids who weren't being treated, the only intervention just treating mom. May be more worrisome in the woman who didn't do well that is they were getting the treatment but not responding, what she reported was that they ended up having kids who did worse. So, who had not had symptoms before overtime develop symptoms, developed the criteria for having a psychiatric diagnoses. It's very worrisome, it tells you that, essentially when we think about mental illness. We can't think about just the individual, we have to think about them in context and the context is often the family and sometimes its a community and sometimes it's a work side and sometimes it's even greater. We haven't thought enough for about how to characterize and quantify that? The Weissman's study tells us something about the ripple effect, the impact that you can see, at least in children that is undoubtedly wider than that and the flip side of this, it tells you that a lot of good can come from involving family members in the treatment.