Jamie Metcalfe. Health Care Reform And More: Current Topics
1657 WordsApr 27, 20177 Pages
Health Care Reform and More: Current Topics in American Health Care Policy
Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Massachusetts’ Children and Adolescents
Executive summary: The mental health of the children and adolescents in Massachusetts is being inadequately addressed, with nearly 100,000 individuals needing more comprehensive care for mental health issues. The inadequacies in our system are particularly devastating to this population, with disruptions to education and social development, and a higher likelihood of continuing mental health issues. This is a complicated topic, and though there have been many interventions proposed, there are several interventions we recommend here that we believe…show more content…
This is an issue which disproportionally affects some groups, but which no child is safe from experiencing. Unique to many health issues, mental health issues are likely to emerge early on, and there is a particularly high benefit to catching and treating these problems early. Half of all mental health illness emerge by 14 years of age, and 75% by age 24.
Addressing inadequately served mental health needs is a multifactorial issue related to inadequate social understanding of the problem, funding, supply of providers, and integration of services. There is no one solution to the problem, and the recommendations here will focus on addressing several of these important aspects of the mental health issue.
Policy Options: There are several key interventions proposed here that we recommend focusing on in the coming years. The first is to increase access for all youth to mental health services. This includes increasing services offered and also includes increasing incentives from private insurance to reimburse appropriate mental health services, thus increasing the number of people who are able to use those services. The second is to better integrate pediatricians’ offices in order to strengthen our state’s framework for providing mental health and to provide earlier diagnosis.
The first aim of the policy