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Toward Successful Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices: Characterizing the Intervention Context of Counselors in School-Based Health Centers  

Author:  Aaron R.  Lyon, Ph.D..; Elizabeth  McCauley, Ph.D..; Ann Vander  Stoep, Ph.D..

Source: Volume 11, Number 01, Winter 2011 , pp.19-25(7)

Report on Emotional & Behavioral Disorders in Youth

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Despite widespread advances in the development of effective evidence-based practices (EBPs) for youth mental health problems, up to 80% of children and adolescents who could benefit from services do not receive them. School-based mental health treatment offers one important method for countering this trend. As the most common point of initial treatment entry and subsequent service use, school-based programs are responsible for an estimated 70% to 80% of all mental health care delivery to youth. Evidence also suggests that the availability of school-based care can successfully reduce service access disparities, such as those that exist between ethnic minority and Caucasian youth. For many of these reasons, recent federal initiatives have called for increases in school-based mental health programs (e.g., Department of Health and Human Services, 2003) and indicate a trend toward even greater emphasis on education sector services. Nevertheless, although schools afford considerable opportunity for the delivery of care, relatively little is known about the quality of services actually provided by mental health professionals working in the education sector. The information that is available suggests that the mental health interventions delivered in schools frequently are not based on evidence of their effectiveness. For example, few school-based mental health providers appear to use standardized assessment measures to monitor client change, an essential component in the delivery of EBPs.

Keywords: Benefits and limitations of SBHCs (school-based health centers)

Affiliations:  1: University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; 2: University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; 3: University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

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