Service responses for youth onset mental disorders

Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Current Opinion in Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.94). 08/2007; 20(4):319-24. DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3281eb906d
Source: PubMed


Many psychiatric disorders have their highest first-onset rates in adolescence and young adulthood. We summarize recent work indicating where interventions are most needed and effective. We also review the literature that examines the scope for reorienting mental health services to meet the needs of adolescents and young adults.
The continuities between youth onset and later life disorders, as well as later social adjustment, have become clearer. Emotional disorders that persist or recur during the teens have the greatest effect on future mental health. To date, service systems, even in the developed world, cater poorly for youth with mental disorders. Intervention studies demonstrate the short-term benefits of intensive multidisciplinary intervention for early psychosis. There are few data concerning the benefit of early intervention for other disorders. Long-term benefits for early intervention for any condition are unknown. Youth streams of psychiatric care have developed for early-onset psychotic disorders.
An increasing understanding of the high prevalence and longer-term effects of youth onset mental disorders has not yet been adequately matched by intervention research or the evaluation of different models of mental health service delivery.

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