Journalist Paul Raeburn's 2004 book, Acquainted with the Night: A Parent's Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in His Children
suggests that the answer is a resounding no.
When his own children started acting up, Raeburn found that there are scores of therapists listed in the Yellow Pages, as well as quite a few inpatient facilities for the flamboyantly symptomatic. But nothing links these various elements of potential care into anything that could be called a "system." The therapists, who all march to their own theoretical and pharmaceutical drummers, have no reliable connections to the hospitals, nor do the hospitals have any means of providing follow-up care for patients after they are discharged. Then there is the matter of payment. Between 1988 and 1998, Raeburn reports, managed-care plans
cut their spending on psychiatric treatment by 55 percent, putting mental health services almost out of the reach of the middle-class, never mind the poor. Hence, no doubt, the fact that three-quarters of children and teenagers who receive a diagnosis of mental illness get no care for it at all.