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Unformatted text preview: Transforming Mental Health Care for Children and Their Families Larke Huang American Institutes for Research Beth Stroul Management and Training Innovations, Inc. Robert Friedman University of South Florida Patricia Mrazek Rochester, Minnesota Barbara Friesen Portland State University Sheila Pires Human Service Collaborative Steve Mayberg California Department of Mental Health In April 2002, the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health was created by executive order to study the mental health care delivery system in our nation and to make recommendations for improvements so that individ- uals with serious mental disorders can live, work, learn, and fully participate in their homes and communities. In its report, “Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America,” the commission provided strate- gies to address critical infrastructure, practice, and re- search issues. This article focuses on the work of the commission’s Subcommittee on Children and Families, de- scribing its vision for mental health service delivery for children and providing suggestions for strengthening com- munity-based care for youths with or at risk of behavioral health disorders. Training, research, practice, and policy implications for psychologists are discussed. Keywords: children’s mental health, systems of care, trans- formation M ental health problems in children and adoles- cents have created a “health crisis” (Satcher, 2000, p. 1) in this country. These problems affect a growing number of youths, they impact these children and their families in all spheres of their lives, and their consequences are costly and often tragic. Recent studies indicate an alarmingly high prevalence rate, with approximately 1 in 5 children having a diagnosable mental disorder and 1 in 10 youths having a serious emotional or behavioral disorder that is severe enough to cause substan- tial impairment in functioning at home, at school, or in the community (Friedman, Katz-Leavy, Manderscheid, & Sondheimer, 1996). The National Institute of Mental Health’s National Advisory Mental Health Council, Work- group on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (2001) con- cluded that “no other illnesses damage so many children so seriously” (p. 1). In conjunction with this prevalence rate, there is an extremely high level of unmet need. It is estimated that about 75% of children with emotional and behavioral dis- orders do not receive specialty mental health services (Rin- gel & Sturm, 2001). Former Surgeon General David Satcher, at his National Conference on Children’s Mental Health, stated that “growing numbers of children are suf- fering needlessly because their emotional, behavioral, and developmental needs are not being met by those very institutions which were explicitly created to take care of them” (Satcher, 2000, p. 1). Yet despite these levels of prevalence and unmet need and the serious impact of mental health problems on the functioning of our children,...
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course SCWK 231 at San Jose State.
- The Land