The prevention of mental disorders includes interventions targeting an array of groups, including the general population, those at high risk for developing behavioral health conditions, and those just beginning to display symptoms that are precursors to behavioral health disorders.
Prevention is particularly important for children and families, as half of all mental health conditions begin by age 14. In Texas, there are more than 300,000 children living in poverty with a severe emotional disturbance. Of those, 1 in 10 are at high risk for out of home placement or exclusionary discipline, and will require intensive services. Prevention could be instrumental in curbing these numbers, however, both nationally and in Texas it has not received sufficient funding.
With a highly structured schedule, Jinneh helps her son manage his ADHD and gives him the tools to cope with mental health challenges the future may bring.
Does Prevention Work?
Many effective evidence-based prevention programs exist, and prevention has been the subject of over 30 years of research highlighting positive results in many community settings. By making a “turn toward prevention,” Texas could set a standard for other states to follow.