Sarah Taylor, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow and Associate Research Scientist
Elizabeth K. Anthony, PhD, Assistant Professor
Edward Cohen, PhD, Assistant Professor
Mason Haber, PhD, Research Assistant Professor
Friday, January 16, 2009: 10:00 AM-11:45 AM
Galerie 1 (New Orleans Marriott)
Transition-age youth ages 16-25 with mental illnesses may be twice as likely to experience problematic substance use as youth in the general population (Mueser, Drake, & Miles, 1997; Ragin, Rasinski, Cerbone, & Johnson, 1999). A prolific literature exists on treatment of co-morbid mental health and substance abuse problems, but little attention has been given to implementation of preventative interventions with this high-risk population. Fifteen years ago, Kessler and Price (1993) called for more attention to the prevention of co-morbidity of additional mental illnesses for individuals already diagnosed with one mental illness. Their call for a focus on prevention of co-morbidity needs to be revisited, and for youth with mental illnesses, prevention of co-morbid substance abuse is critical. In this roundtable, we will discuss the characteristics of youth with mental illnesses that indicate the need for substance abuse prevention, the attributes of the social service systems serving youth with mental illnesses that present barriers and opportunities for prevention, and promising practices for prevention.
In the first half of the roundtable, four presenters will discuss their research on transition-age youth, social service systems, and substance abuse prevention. The first two presenters will discuss findings from a comprehensive literature review on the characteristics of transition-age youth with mental illnesses and the factors that inhibit or support implementation of substance abuse prevention across multiple social service systems. The next presenter will draw on his research on the Mental Health Services Act in California, which presents an opportunity to develop substance abuse prevention and early intervention programs for transition-age youth. He will also discuss specific community mental health system factors, such as managed care, that may affect implementation of new services. The final presenter will discuss his research on “Prevention Planning”, a method for addressing emerging problems with substance abuse and other risk behaviors in programs for transition-age youth with mental illnesses.
The second half of the roundtable will be spent in dialogue with attendees about whether and how substance abuse prevention can be integrated into existing social service systems for youth with mental illnesses.