Troubled youth and the mental health care crisis

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Troubled youth and the mental health care crisis

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Title: Troubled youth and the mental health care crisis
Author: Hundley, Natasha
Abstract: The US government is not providing adequate mental health care to today‟s youth. Although $12 billion is being spent on behaviorally troubled adolescents, nearly seventy-five percent of adolescents who need mental health care do not have access. 1 in 10 American youth suffer from an emotional disorder, but less than 25 percent of these youth are receiving the psychological attention they need. Of the youth being treated for behavioral disorders, less than 50 percent are covered by Medicaid. Overall lack of coverage in every type of insurance has added to the problem. Most private insurance and Medicaid programs will not cover mental health evaluations or treatments. Youth that are not covered by Medicaid seek care through private insurance or an out-of-pocket expense. Currently, the expense of treating this 25 percent is estimated at $12 billion. If this policy problem is not addressed and adolescents do not gain access to much needed care, the crisis will continue and American youth will continue to go untreated. For at least 75 percent of troubled youth, the development into a self sufficient adult will be unfeasible. The mental health issue involving youth can be addressed within the public school system specifically, first because that is where a child spends most of his/her time, but also because issues that are not addressed at home or in a medical facility are exposed in the school. Problems happen in the classroom because the youth are not receiving adequate healthcare elsewhere. The responsibility then becomes that of other students, the teachers, other school staff and likely unequipped parents. This Capstone Project identifies and evaluates evidence-based mental health treatment programs in public schools.

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