Study Illustrates Impact of Collaborative Support for Teens with Mental Health Issues

holdinghands“Nearly two-thirds of adolescents who have had a major depressive episode don't get treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.”

A new study, Collaborative Care for Adolescents With Depression in Primary Care, examined the impact of a concerted treatment effort among parents and a depression care manager. NPR reports on the study:

“In a clinical trial, researchers from the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital split a group of 100 teens who screened positive for depression into two categories. Half were referred to mental health specialists and had their screening results mailed to their parents.

The rest were treated with what doctors call a collaborative care model. These kids were paired with a depression care manager (a specially trained nurse, social worker or therapist) who worked with them and their parents to choose a therapist and make decisions about whether a psychiatric medication might help. The care manager also followed up with the teens every week or two, and called their parents every month.

After a year, only 27 percent of the teens who didn't get that extra coaching had enlisted in the recommended treatment, while 86 percent of the collaborative care group got treatment.”

The study not only explores the general lack of long-term support for teens with depression, it reiterates the need for collaborative parental, medical and community involvement in mental health treatment. That’s our goal at Reclaiming Futures. Providing a strong united support system to kids with mental health issues can prevent substance abuse and crime, helping kids avoid the juvenile justice system altogether.

Updated: August 28 2014