Infant Psychiatrist Dr. Wanjiku F.M. Njoroge Examines Mental Health in Youth and Featured in Philadelphia Inquirer

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Behavioral challenges, depression, anxiety, and trauma can affect everyone, even infants.

Dr. Wanjiku F.M. Njoroge, the Medical Director of the Young Child Clinic, recently discussed the state of mental health in children and young people with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Addressing behavioral health issues early can have lifelong implications. Njoroge says that 90% of the brain develops in the first five years of life — about 75% in the first three years. Traditionally, she said, child psychiatrists see patients starting around age 6. “But if 90% of the brain is developing before that period of time, we’re really missing critical opportunities,” she said.

Cracks in this neurological foundation can impact a child’s cognitive abilities, motor skills, and problem-solving. But the fact that the brain is developing also means that there is time to take action and prevent harm. A plan to assist a child could include various forms of therapy, whether at CHOP or in the community.

Read the full interview here.

Contact: Kaitlyn Tivenan, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-8614 or

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