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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

At-risk youth: Mental health services and treatment: A systematic review of the literature
by Cervantes, Leondra Nicole, M.S.W., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 110; 1523333
Abstract (Summary)

This review of the literature explored mental health issues for at-risk youth. The following topics were reviewed: mental health resources and services for at-risk youth, effectiveness of existing programs designed for at-risk youth diagnosed with mental health disorders, and relevant policy and program developments. This systematic literature review of 21 studies helped to provide a better understanding about some of the challenges at-risk youth with mental health disorders encounter when accessing mental health services. Based on the information presented, since the 1980's mental health programs were either drastically cut or not renewed on the premise that the tax dollars would be allocated more appropriately. As a result, the need for mental health care increasingly tripled. To address this issue, in the 1990s the burden fell on the local and state governments to address and manage juvenile delinquents with mental health issues while trying to balance their local budgets.

Mental health needs were not effectively addressed as state and local budgets became constricted and resources were limited. Additionally, research to educate professional or even assist this population was simply nonexistent at this time. Unfortunately, to alleviate the problem youth were often held or warehoused in detentions centers, while waiting for available mental health placement. This option was not practical, as youth mental health needs remained neglected due to the lack of training by juvenile justice staff.

Inadequate mental health services led many youth to resist seeking appropriate treatment. In turn, many youth gravitated towards substance abuse, suicide, crime and other deviant acts as a method of coping. However, mental health professionals concur early intervention including upfront screening, diversions, interventions, community based programs and other systems of care services are extremely beneficial to at-risk youth of this population.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jennings, Lisa K.
Commitee: Meyer-Adams, Nancy, Potts, Marilyn
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Social Work
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Social work
Keywords: At-risk, Juvenile, Resources, Treatment, Youth
Publication Number: 1523333
ISBN: 978-1-303-20901-7
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