Past Releases: Prevention-Early Intervention Programs for Mental Illness and Addictions
Contact Communications@thenationalcouncil.org or 202.684.7457, ext. 228
Washington, DC (August 31, 2009)—Prevention is a hotly-debated topic in healthcare reform, yet “…few, if any, are offering serious insight as to how to address the host of mental health disorders estimated to affect 14 to 20 percent of America’s young people in any given year,” writes Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, in an editorial in the latest issue of National Council Magazine focused on Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental and Addiction Disorders.
While epic arguments are being waged regarding the pros and cons of disease prevention and its cost impact, Rosenberg points out that while “saving money is important, the bottom line should include safeguarding a quality of life.”
The magazine profiles prevention programs being conducted by National Council member organizations — community-based mental health and addictions treatment organizations nationwide. While the initiatives all have different areas of focus—public education, screening in primary care, school-based initiatives, suicide prevention, employee assistance programs—the programs share the common goal of addressing the mental, emotional and behavioral disorders that threaten the mental health of America’s children, youth, older adults, veterans, and persons already diagnosed with one form of mental illness or addictions who may be at risk for other disorders.
The featured early-intervention programs include:
• Mental Health First Aid USA, the groundbreaking public education program that teaches people
what to do when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis.
• Harlem Children’s Zone, described by the New York Times as “one of the most ambitious social
service experiments of our time” and chosen by President Obama to be replicated nationwide, the
community-based truancy prevention program now serves more than 10,000 youth.
• Nurse Family Partnership, the highly successful, evidence-based home visitation program that
targets first-time parents living in poverty and offers health, social, and economic supports.
• Early Detection and Intervention for the Prevention of Psychosis Program, recently highlighted in
a Time magazine article, uses evidence-based interventions that help youths succeed, without
stigma, before experiencing the negative effects of a fully-developed mental illness.
• College Dreams, an alcohol and drug-prevention program in Oregon that has saved thousands of
middle-school students from school dropout, substance abuse, and delinquency.
The magazine also includes articles by policy and clinical experts on why prevention-early intervention is critical as we attempt to piece together the healthcare puzzle.
“Society can no longer afford to ignore the risk factors for and the onset of mental illnesses and substance use disorders,” concludes Rosenberg’s editorial. “Ignoring prevention and early intervention is issuing a personal invitation to cut a young life drastically short.”
A full copy of National Council Magazine Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental and Addiction Disorders is available at www.TheNationalCouncil.org.
The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) association of 1,600 behavioral healthcare organizations that provide treatment and rehabilitation for mental illnesses and addictions disorders to nearly six million adults, children and families in communities across the country. The National Council and its members bear testimony to the fact that medical, social, psychological and rehabilitation services offered in community settings help people with mental illnesses and addiction disorders recover and lead productive lives.