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A collaborative system of care for youth with severe emotional disturbances: an evaluation of client characteristics and services



A collaborative system of care for youth with severe emotional disturbances: an evaluation of client characteristics and services



Journal of Mental Health Administration 21(2): 170-184



The closing of a state children's psychiatric hospital resulted in the mandated development of a regional children's mental health system for youths with severe emotional disturbances. The purpose of this article is to describe the demographic profiles and service usage patterns of youths enrolled in this system (Project youths) compared with random samples of non-Project youths involved with the mental health system. Data were obtained from two existing statewide databases (508K and MHIS). The 508K database revealed that Project youths (n = 393) were significantly older, had more severe functional impairments, more out of home placements, lower functional abilities, and were ill longer than non-Project youths (n = 747). Using the MHIS database, service usage patterns were assessed over time, across groups, and across the six local mental health authorities (LMHAs). Project youths (n = 266) received more case management, emergency, day treatment, and inpatient services than did non-Project youths (n = 262) and there were significant increases in case management and residential services over time. Differences among the LMHAs were found in all service types. Findings from this study indicated that Project youths were the most severely disturbed in the mental health system and received the most services. This study demonstrates the usefulness of analyzing existing statewide data in evaluating mental health systems.

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Accession: 045044302

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10133778

DOI: 10.1007/bf02521324


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