Category: Dissemination / Implementation

Symposium

Symposium 14 - Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zones: Moving Beyond Mental Health Clinics and Delivering Services to Children in Their Natural Environments

Friday, November 17
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Aqua 310, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: Implementation | Service Delivery | Cultural Diversity/ Vulnerable Populations
Presentation Type: Symposium

Significant advances in intervention science have yielded evidence-based practices (EBPs) for a considerable share of children’s mental health problems. Regrettably, gaps persist between services in experimental settings and those available in frontline practice settings. Indeed broad access to clinic-based care remains problematic, with only about 13% of all youth receiving any mental health care (Olfson, Druss & Marcus, 2015). The situation is particularly concerning for racial and ethnic minority and low-income children who participate in fewer services and receive poorer quality of mental health care relative to their non-Latina/o White counterparts (Alegría, Green, McLaughlin, & Loder, 2015; Kataoka, et al., 2002).


Going beyond mental health clinics and delivering needed mental health services directly to children in their natural settings (e.g., schools, homes, afterschool programs) can address many of the logistical and attitudinal barriers that typically constrain the accessibility of supported mental health care (e.g., transportation, financial barriers, geographic disparities in the availability of a mental health workforce, stigma, beliefs about service use). Leveraging indigenous workforces in children’s natural settings (e.g. teachers, paraprofessional, park staff) and task shifting hold great potential to meaningfully improve the reach of supported practices, particularly to traditionally underserved populations of youth most in need (Atkins, Horwitz & Hoagwood, 2002; Owens et al., 2013). Further study in the transportability and implementation of mental health services into natural settings within a child’s community (e.g. school, afterschool, juvenile justice system) is critical to improving the feasibility, accessibility, and overall quality of mental health care for youth. This symposium will present a range of studies examining the development, implementation and effectiveness of youth services that are modified (e.g. setting, structure, workforce) to better fit the needs of underserved families. Leading scholars in services and implementation research will present data on (1) Effectiveness and lessons learned in the implementation of probation officer delivered Aggression Replacement Therapy for girls in the juvenile justice system; (2) A meta-analysis evaluating the effectiveness of school-based mental health services delivered strictly by indigenous school personnel; (3) Engagement of low-income parents in a school-based paraprofessional-led service model; (4) A collaborative and iterative approach to providing academic support in a resiliency-based afterschool program; and (5) Feasibility and social and behavioral outcomes of an open trial of Leaders @ Play 2.0 an after school program promoting youth mental health and wellness. Dr. Marc Atkins will serve as Discussant and will consider findings in the context of future directions for increasing the accessibility of mental health care and improving the uptake of evidence-based practices into children’s natural settings.

Learning Objectives:

Amanda L. Sanchez

Doctoral Student
Florida International University

Presentation(s):

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Marc S. Atkins

Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology and Director of the Institute for Juvenile Research
University of Illinois at Chicago

Presentation(s):

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Sarah Cusworth Walker

Associate Professor
University of Washington

Presentation(s):

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Amanda L. Sanchez

Doctoral Student
Florida International University

Presentation(s):

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Davielle Lakind

University of Illinois at Chicago

Presentation(s):

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Rachel Ouellette

Florida International University

Presentation(s):

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Tara Mehta

University of Illinois at Chicago

Presentation(s):

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