Developing youth health and mental wellness initiatives should be based on an intersectoral approach that considers the health needs of different age groups. This can be accomplished by leveraging existing industry-led innovations such as telehealth services to address the needs of young people. However, there are challenges involved in implementing youth health policies and programs.
Intersectoral approach to addressing youth mental health needs across the different target age groups
Developing an intersectoral approach to address youth mental health needs across the different target age groups is a worthy challenge. In addition to involving adolescents in program design, they can play a key role in monitoring and evaluation of interventions. They are also powerful advocates and can transform traditional health care delivery models.
One way to make this happen is to ensure that national and regional governments are aligned in their policies, strategies and interventions to improve child and adolescent health. This will help avoid competition and maximize the resources of national programs. In addition, government should develop a mechanism to promote an advocacy mechanism for mental health issues through coalitions. It should also establish a monitoring system to track agreed issues and ensure that these are addressed.
A survey of OECD member countries revealed that young people are more concerned about their health than their parents, and that they are concerned about their health in a variety of ways. Their main concerns include their individual freedoms, employment, friendships, familial relationships, and mental health. Amongst the most important adolescent health concerns are substance use and violence. These are complex health issues with implications for public health over the course of a person’s life.
Challenges to implementation of youth health policies and programs
Despite the importance of youth mental health, challenges to its implementation are widespread. Specifically, youth-specific services are not available across the entire DMHP, and these services are lacking in many HWCs.
Youth-focused services are essential for the development of a sustainable, comprehensive, and scalable system of care for the youth population. These services must address the physical, social, emotional, and relational needs of young people. They also need to be designed to meet the diverse cultural and sociocultural realities of youth populations. The health and education departments are responsible for creating and implementing these programs.
While existing programmatic frameworks have their own strengths and limitations, a judicious use of digital tools for youth health is possible. These technologies can support a variety of initiatives including the identification and referral of children to services, improving the availability of psychotropic medicines in primary healthcare facilities, and strengthening health and education departments.
An intersectoral approach to addressing the youth mental health needs of the population is needed to provide a holistic approach to prevention and treatment. It must also address the sociocultural and economic determinants that contribute to the development of self-harm and suicide. These determinants are not adequately recognized in suicide prevention and early intervention strategies.
Reimbursement of telehealth services
During the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health service providers reported that telehealth technologies provided effective solutions for keeping services in place in rural areas. However, they also noted the potential challenges associated with using these technologies.
For example, some of the technologies that are commonly used to deliver telehealth services include telephones, fax machines, and electronic mail systems. These technologies may be covered as part of a Medicaid coverable service. In addition, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule will be updated at the end of the federal public health emergency. This update will include several expansions of the use of telehealth for mental health treatment.
In addition, telehealth has been shown to be effective in improving parental involvement. It has also decreased no-show rates for mental health sessions.
In order to make telehealth an effective form of service delivery, it may be necessary to offer financial incentives. These incentives could be in the form of removing copayments for virtual visits.
Impact of industry-led innovations on mental health
During the last decade, the mental health of youth has been a major focus of policymakers. As a result, mental health services are increasingly available at workplaces. In addition, companies are realizing the costs of not addressing mental health issues.
Earlier this year, President Biden announced a national mental health strategy to improve the capacity of health and social service infrastructure and connect more Americans to care. This plan will expand suicide prevention programs and strengthen community-based behavioral health services. He also proposed historic investments in youth mental health services in the FY23 budget.
HHS Secretary Becerra is also launching a National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health, where he will meet with Americans and local leaders about mental health challenges and the solutions that are working. His tour aims to increase awareness about the role of mental health in America and encourage people to talk about it.
One of the most immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is the demand for mental health services. Before the pandemic, the United States had a shortage of mental health providers. In the aftermath of the pandemic, this shortage was exacerbated and demand for mental health services surged.