Bringing Evidence-Based Child Mental Health Services to the Schools: General Issues and Specific Populations

By Masia-Warner, Carrie; Nangle, Douglas W. et al. | Education & Treatment of Children, May 2006 | Go to article overview

Bringing Evidence-Based Child Mental Health Services to the Schools: General Issues and Specific Populations


Masia-Warner, Carrie, Nangle, Douglas W., Hansen, David J., Education & Treatment of Children


Epidemiological research indicates a high prevalence of psychiatric disorders among children and adolescents. Approximately 21% of children and adolescents, ages 9 to 17, have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder (Costello et al., 1996; Shaffer et al., 1996; U.S. Public Health Service, 2000), and additional youngsters experience social and emotional difficulties that do not meet symptom criteria for a disorder but cause considerable distress and impairment in functioning. Unfortunately, there is a significant gap between the many youth who are in need of treatment and those who actually receive mental health care (Burns et al., 1995; Leaf et al., 1996). According to the Surgeon General's 1999 report on mental health, 6 to 9 million youngsters with emotional problems are not receiving the help they require (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999). The failure to provide treatment to youth represents a major public health concern (U.S. Public Health Service, 2000).

Schools present a crucial avenue for ameliorating this problem, and have been designated as a key setting by the Surgeon General for identifying and addressing mental health needs in youth (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999). This proposed solution for increasing health care access is based on several observations. First, in a large study of children's mental health service use, of the only 16% of youth receiving mental health services, 75% received them at school (Burns et al., 1995). Second, schools provide unparalleled contact with youth (Adelman & Taylor, 1999; Weist, 1997), and therefore, represent a single location through which the majority can be reached (Anglin, 2003). Such ease of accessibility creates the optimal environment to launch prevention, early identification, and intervention efforts that may prevent the development of serious secondary dysfunction such as suicidal behavior or substance abuse (Weist, 1999).

In addition, children and families may avoid seeking help partly due to the stigma associated with traditional mental health treatment. Offering services in a familiar setting like schools may make treatment more acceptable (Catron & Weiss, 1994; Weist, 1999) since many children already receive school-based services for non-mental health concerns. On a related note, school programs reduce barriers common to treatment in community mental health services such as cost, transportation, and family and demographic factors (Catron, Harris, & Weiss, 1998; Wu et al., 1999), and thus, may offer opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable.

Moreover, psychiatric issues in children and adolescents are often not recognized, and adults frequently minimize problems experienced by youth (Clauss-Ehlers & Weist, 2002). Partnering with schools creates opportunities to educate and support school personnel and parents in identifying mental health issues and making appropriate referrals for treatment.

Finally, treatment implemented within schools provides opportunities to practice skills in realistic contexts and with diverse individuals, thereby increasing the likelihood of generalization to the natural environment (Evans, 1999; Evans, Langberg, & Williams, 2003). Treatment progress can be further encouraged and reinforced by peers and teachers. Such a real-world approach reduces the division between the treatment setting and natural environment, and may enhance the effectiveness of school interventions compared to clinic-based treatments (Evans et al., 2003).

Based on the many potential advantages, there has been a proliferation of school-based programs (Adelman & Taylor, 1998). Although some positive effects have been found for programs addressing anxiety disorders, depression, substance use, and conduct and emotional problems (Dadds et al., 1997, Dadds et al., 1999, Masia-Warner et al., 2005; Rones & Hoagwood, 2000), the effectiveness of the majority of school initiatives is largely unknown (Adelman & Taylor, 1998; Hoagwood & Erwin, 1997; Leff, Power, Manz, Costigan, & Nabors, 2001; Power, Manz, & Leff, 2003; Rones & Hoagwood, 2000). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bringing Evidence-Based Child Mental Health Services to the Schools: General Issues and Specific Populations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.