The Institute of Medicine’s 2009 report, Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders among Young People: Progress and Possibilities, documents that an increasing number of mental, emotional, and behavioral problems in young people are in fact preventable. The report calls for the establishment of new national priorities that emphasize the prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders and promotion of behavioral health as a national priority; the infusion of evidence-based interventions in a range of family, school and community settings; and the expansion of the existing research base. The report’s conclusions are very well aligned with the goals and strategies called for in the Affordable Care Act, highlighting the critical need for a more proactive, preventive focus on mental, emotional, and behavioral health.
Unfortunately, neither the general public nor even the State, Community, and Tribal leaders charged with behavioral health promotion, prevention, and service delivery seem to be aware of the key messages the report outlines or the appropriate steps to take to implement its recommendations. There is an urgent need to broaden awareness of this report and support state and local leaders in developing well considered strategies to implement its recommendations.
My presentation addressed many issues raised at the SAMSHA meeting