Background: Mental health disorders affect 12 - 13% of Brazilian children and adolescents, but 20% of those who need care, receive mental health treatment. Given limited resources, caring for the mental health care of children and adolescents represents a challenge for the public system. To adequately plan the organization of health, social care and education services associated with psychiatric disorder among young people, it is important to have good estimates of costs of the use of these services. However, information on these costs for the public system is still scarce in Brazil. To adress this gap, Dr Sara Evans-Lacko of the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, in partnership with the National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry of Brazil, is carrying out the APPLAUSE project. This project is currently collecting data on the frequency and pathways of health, education and social care service utilization associated with mental health disorders among children and adolescents from a prospective community cohort in São Paulo and Porto Alegre, Brazil. Objective: To estimate the monetary cost for the public system of health, social care and education service use associated with psychiatric disorders among children and adolescents in Brazil. Methodology: Using a bottom-up costing approach, data on reported service use among children and adolescents participants of the APPLAUSE cohort, will be combined with Brazilian unit costs. As the available information of unit costs in Brazilian public databases (or in the national literature) does not include the costs of the provision of primary and community mental health services for young people, these costs will be collected through a survey with representatives of the primary and community mental health services in São Paulo and Porto Alegre, using the Brazilian version of the Client Inventory Receipt Services. Once estimated the costs in São Paulo and Porto Alegre, using epidemiological data and economic indicators of other regions of the country, the costs will also be scaled up to each one of the Brazilian regions.
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