Title

The Growing Prevalence of Mental Health Issues: How to Engage Parents and Youth

Location

Percival

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

This proposal relates to many topics included in the “Health” strand. The study discussed in this presentation was conducted on a mental health treatment program for youth. The presentation will include the importance of recognizing issues such as substance abuse and emotional disorders in youth and ensuring that counselors and therapists have the tools needed to provide successful treatment and to engage youth and their parents. The surveys that were utilized in the study are available at no charge online and may be administered by counselors and therapists as well as educators and professionals in juvenile detention centers and child welfare services. Therefore, I believe that any conference attendee that works with youth will find the contents of the presentation very valuable.

Brief Program Description

How do you engage youth in mental health treatment when they disagree with their parents on what their issues are? We will explore the significance of differences in perception and the effect it has on treatment. The presentation will include tools that professionals can use to improve engagement when working with youth and will incorporate active discussion among participants.

Summary

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, four million children and adolescents in this country suffer from a serious mental disorder that causes significant impairments at home, school, and with peers. Of children ages 9 to 17, 21 percent have a diagnosable mental disorder that causes at least minimal impairment. Despite effective treatments, there are long delays between the first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment. An untreated mental disorder can lead to a more severe, more difficult to treat illness. In any given year, only 20 percent of children with mental disorders are identified and receive mental health services. The treatment of mental health issues in youth will be discussed and recommendations on how to engage parents and youth in order for treatment to be successful will be presented. Findings were obtained from a study conducted on 146 youth and parents at a community mental health clinic in a rural area in Southwest Georgia. Self-Report Surveys developed by the National Institute of Health were administered to youth and parents independently and were used to assess differences in perception between youth and parents on 5 scales: Substance Use/Abuse, Mental Health, Aggressive Behavior/Delinquency, Family Relations, and Peer Relations. The results indicated that parents and youth varied significantly in their perceptions of family relationships and peer relationships, which may hinder mental health treatment. Exploring the differences in perception between parents and adolescents can help clinicians to understand the gaps in perception and assess the need for further treatment to attempt to resolve differences in perception. Determining that there may be a difference in how adolescents and parents view family relations and peer relations could be key in improving mental health services for youth. The implications of this study as well as discussions of how to utilize surveys to improve engagement of youth and parents in mental health services will be explored. At the end of the presentation, participants will have copies of the surveys that they can utilize in practice and will be able to identify ways to engage youth in mental health treatment.

Evidence

The surveys used in the study that will be presented are the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT) and the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Parents (POSIP) that were both developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. The Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT) is a brief screening tool designed to identify problems and the potential need for mental health treatment in adolescents age 12 to 19. The POSIT questionnaire includes 139 questions over 10 functional areas: substance use/abuse, mental health, physical health, family relationships, peer relationships, educational status, vocational status, social skills, leisure and recreation, and aggressive behavior/delinquency. The Aggressive Behavior/Delinquency scale from the POSIT consists of 15 questions. This scale had a test-retest intra-class correlation of 0.90 and an internal consistency of 0.79 at the initial test and 0.85 at retest (Knight et al, 2001). The POSIT is a cost-efficient, easy-to-use problem screening for use with troubled adolescents who may have one or more problems amenable to treatment or to a combination of preventive services. The POSIT can be administered by staff in schools, the juvenile and family court system, child welfare, medical, psychiatric, and alcohol and drug treatment programs as the first step toward determining those potentially problematic areas that require a more comprehensive diagnostic assessment. The POSIT is useful in a case management system in conjunction with a community network of clinical services. It can also be used as a descriptive measure in program evaluation. A prior study was conducted using the POSIT screening tool to investigate the degree to which the POSIT screening of the family domain provides useful information regarding family functioning when used with clinic-referred youths with behavior problems. The data from the study supported the validity of the POSIT and its ability to classify families correctly in terms of their family functioning (Santisteban et al, 1999). References: Knight, J.R., Goodman, E., Pulerwitz, T., & DuRant, R.H. (2001) Reliability of the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT) in Adolescent Medical Practice. Journal of Adolescent Health, 29 (2): 125 – 130. National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH). (2001). Blueprint for change: Research on child and adolescent mental health. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. Santisteban, D.A., Tejeda, M., Dominicis, C., & Szapocznik, J. (1999). An Efficient Tool for Screening for Maladaptive Family Functioning in Adolescent Drug Abusers: The Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 25 (2): 197 – 206.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

I have a Doctor of Science degree in Health Systems Management from Tulane University, a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of West Alabama, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science from the University of Georgia.

I am an Assistant Professor of Health Administration at Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. I have 7 years of experience teaching healthcare courses at the college and university level. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia and a National Board Certified Counselor and have 8 years of experience in working with children and adolescents in clinical practice.

Keyword Descriptors

adolescent health, mental health, youth & family, therapeutic interventions

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-2-2015 3:00 PM

End Date

3-2-2015 4:15 PM

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Mar 2nd, 3:00 PM Mar 2nd, 4:15 PM

The Growing Prevalence of Mental Health Issues: How to Engage Parents and Youth

Percival

How do you engage youth in mental health treatment when they disagree with their parents on what their issues are? We will explore the significance of differences in perception and the effect it has on treatment. The presentation will include tools that professionals can use to improve engagement when working with youth and will incorporate active discussion among participants.