Halifax, N.S (Jan. 24, 2017) –
Today, the team at TeenMentalHealth.Org launched an innovative, original and evidence-based model aimed at linking healthcare and education in order to better the lives of youth suffering from mental illness.
Approximately 70% of mental illnesses can be diagnosed before the age of 25, which makes adolescence a critical time for mental health promotion, prevention, early identification and effective treatment of mental disorders. Given the amount of hours most Canadian teenagers spend in school each week, schools are an ideal location for recognizing and addressing the mental health needs of youth.
Based on this knowledge, the team, led by Dr. Stan Kutcher developed the Pathway Through Care model which proposes a simple, innovative method for integrating education and healthcare opportunities. At present, schools and healthcare exist as separate systems, making it difficult to coordinate much needed enhancements in mental health literacy with rapid access to effective care for young people. This integrative model can meet both the health and mental health needs of young people in a manner that can also enhance mental health related outcomes for teachers, student services providers and parents.
The Pathway Through Care presents an evidence-based method by helping increase the mental health literacy and help-seeking ability of teenagers and the people outside of their families that they see most often, their teachers. Today, many teenagers with varying mental health care needs are waiting too long for treatment and slipping through the cracks of existing systems. This model works towards identifying these youth and providing them with rapid access to treatment before their problems become more severe.
“We need to engage young people effectively, efficiently and in a frugal and sustainable way. This means building on the strengths of what we already have, breaking down silos that currently exist and bringing together young people, their families and the youth serving institutions that already exist to help improve lives and outcomes for all.” Dr. Stan Kutcher
For more information on the Pathway Through Care, visit http://teenmentalhealth.org/pathwaythroughcare
TeenMentalHealth.Org uses the best scientific evidence available to develop application-ready training programs, publications, tools and resources to enhance the understanding of adolescent mental health issues. Dr. Stan Kutcher works to create, develop and deliver research, education and clinical programs by collaborating with its audiences.
Kate Elliot, Communications Coordinator
Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health