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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
May/June 2010, Volume 18, Number 3 

New Data: Early Intervention Supports Healthy Development and Improves Family Life

According to a recent SAMHSA report, behavioral and emotional problems decreased among nearly one-third (31 percent) of young children with mental health challenges within the first 6 months after entering services through systems of care.

The report, Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Young Children and Their Families, describes the academic, social, and emotional performance outcomes of children age 8 and younger receiving services in systems of care. These SAMHSA-funded systems of care programs provide family-driven and culturally and linguistically competent services and supports to children and youth with mental health challenges and their families.

The report was released on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, SAMHSA’s annual celebration of the importance of caring for every child’s mental health (for more information, see SAMHSA News coverage of Awareness Day Events).

Significant Findings

The national evaluation of systems of found the following.

  • Strain on caregivers. Nearly one-third of caregivers of young children with mental health challenges reported less strain 6 months after their children entered services in a system of care. Specifically, these caregivers reported less strain in areas such as the caregiver feeling sad/unhappy or isolated, as well as disruptions of family routines and missed work/neglected duties as a result of their child’s emotional or behavioral problems.
  • Afterschool or childcare settings. Changing afterschool and childcare arrangements can be detrimental to the well-being of young children and their families. Within 6 months after entering systems of care, the number of children age 8 and younger changing afterschool or childcare settings fell by nearly 43 percent.
  • Emotional well-being. Behavioral and emotional symptoms decreased among nearly one-third of the children (31 percent) within the first 6 months after entering systems of care.

The SAMHSA report also references research studies that illustrate the need to address mental health during early child development. These findings show that young children who enter kindergarten with effective social skills generally have an easier time developing relationships with peers and do better in school; and young children who receive effective, age-appropriate mental health services and supports are more likely to complete high school, have fewer contacts with law enforcement, and improve their ability to live independently and productively.

Study Background

Children and youth receiving services in federally funded systems of care range in age from birth through 21 years. To be eligible for services, they must have, or have had at any time during the past year, an emotional, socioemotional, behavioral, or mental disorder that meets standardized diagnostic criteria, is of sufficient duration, and affects child or youth functioning in home, school, and/or community, or requires intervention by multiple child-serving agencies.

Short report findings are based upon data collected by the national evaluation of system of care communities initially funded from 2002 through 2006. Young children in this national evaluation sample entered systems of care from 2003 through 2009. Data are reported for the 2,207 young children in the evaluation with complete data at entry into services.

Download Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Young Children and Their Families.


  Cover Story & Related Articles  
Promoting Wellness in Early Childhood

Promoting Wellness in Early Childhood

Project LAUNCH focuses on children from birth to age 8.


  From the Administrator  
Your Responses to What's in a Term?

Your Responses to “What’s in a Term?”

Comments are continuing to arrive in SAMHSA’s email reader-response box. Thank you! Read the responses so far.

Your Comments, Ideas, Personal Stories . . .

Your Comments, Ideas, Personal Stories . . .

SAMHSA has received more than 150 emails in response to the Administrator’s call for comments. Read selected responses.


  Health Reform  

Affordable Care Act: Implications for Behavioral Health

The Act improves services for people who have mental health and substance use disorders.



  Suicide Prevention in American  
  Indian Communities  
Helping Youth “Live To See the Great Day That Dawns”

Helping Youth “Live To See the Great Day That Dawns”

AI/AN youth are 10 times more likely to attempt suicide.

First-Person: Commitment, Hope, Community

Collaborating across tribes helped create a needed publication for AI/AN youth.



  Teens & Substance Abuse  
Adolescents Do What Every Day?

Adolescents Do What Every Day?

A day in the life may include more than texting and homework.

Tobacco Sales to Minors Increasing?

Tobacco Sales to Minors Increasing?

Sales of tobacco to minors increased nationally in 2009.

Youth Smoking & Maternal Risk Factors

Youth Smoking & Maternal Risk Factors

If a mother smokes, does that affect her teen?

Teen Smoking: New Data

Trends in young people’s smoking habits.



  Treatment  
TIP 49 in Your Pocket

TIP 49 in Your Pocket

Pocket “Quick Guides” for counselors and physicians.

By Metro Area: Treatment Data

By Metro Area: Treatment Data

Activities in 27 metro areas include Baltimore and San Diego — Metro Briefs.


  Awards  
PRISM Awards Honor Films, Television

PRISM Awards Honor Films, Television

Kudos for the realistic depiction of substance abuse and mental illness in film and TV.


  Staff in the News  
Leadership Award to Kana Enomoto

Leadership Award to Kana Enomoto

The Arthur S. Flemming Awards honors SAMHSA’s Kana Enomoto.


  Ending Seclusion & Restraint  

Organizations Making a Difference

SAMHSA honors facilities for reducing these practices.



  Drug Abuse Warning Network  
  (DAWN)  

Rise in Nonmedical Use of Pain Relievers

Emergency visits double for prescription opioid pain relievers.



  Recovery Month  
Toolkits, Posters Available

Toolkits, Posters Available

For September, planning materials at RecoveryMonth.gov.



  


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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