In order to improve the health and wellness of youth, we need to take a multi-sectoral approach and address youth mental health needs across different age groups. This can be done through various means including: preventive promotive programs for youth at high risk of substance abuse and related mental health problems; improving the emotional well-being of youth through awareness generation; and implementing web-based mental health care.
Preventive promotive programs for youth at high risk of substance abuse and related mental health problems
The prevention of substance abuse and related mental health problems is an important priority for policy makers, educators, and community leaders. There are several effective strategies that can be used to prevent these behaviors.
A large body of research has been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of various prevention programs. Studies have shown that the most effective strategies have a youth-focused, multidisciplinary framework and are skill-focused. Moreover, the most effective strategies are implemented over a period of years and target key risk factors for substance use.
School-based and family-based prevention programs are two of the most popular methods for preventing adolescent substance use. These programs focus on increasing communication skills, improving family functioning, and developing rules and monitoring practices.
Intersectoral approach to addressing youth mental health needs across the different target age groups
If an intersectoral approach is to be adopted to address the youth mental health needs across the different target age groups, it must take into account the systemic barriers and sociocultural realities. It should also consider the role of youth and how to ensure their inclusion. In addition, the implementation of programs must include youth health advocates. These individuals can transform traditional health care delivery models and create adolescent-responsive health systems.
This document explores the existing frameworks and programmatic frameworks in India and examines the opportunities and challenges for implementing an intersectoral approach to address the youth mental health needs across the target age groups. A range of systemic barriers limit the scope of youth focused policies and programs, including restrictive laws, restrictive policies, and poor access to services.
Social determinants of mental health need to be recognized
If you are interested in improving the mental health of youth, it is important to recognize the role of social determinants. They can influence individual, group, and community-level health. These factors include economic circumstances, physical living conditions, and access to effective healthcare. Among other effects, they increase the risk for mental illnesses.
In addition, many social determinants are fixed. Specifically, income inequality, social norms, and employment status are examples. Income inequality is associated with higher rates of substance use disorders and depression. Similarly, unemployment, precarious employment, and the disproportionately high prevalence of serious mental illness among nursing assistants are all examples.
Emotional well-being, awareness generation around mental illnesses
Today’s youth face systemic inequities, civil unrest, and a pandemic of mental illness. A growing number of countries are developing mental health services to address these needs.
One of the most important steps to combat mental health challenges is educating people about the illness. Stigma relating to the illness can be particularly problematic for youth from traditionally underserved communities. This stigma can hinder people’s ability to seek treatment, and it can lead to higher costs for medical care.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 46% of teenagers are affected by a diagnosable mental health disorder. Mental illnesses include anxiety disorders and mood disorders.
Web-based mental health care
Web-based mental health care for youth has received some attention as a possible solution. However, evidence is still limited, and the quality of the evidence that exists on the subject remains speculative.
Web-based psychotherapies can be delivered either self-guided or with the assistance of a coach or therapist. This approach is gaining popularity due to its flexibility and ease of use. Studies have shown that some types of web-based therapies provide a measureable amount of benefit.
In addition, digital interventions can help patients practice skills between sessions. They also enable communication between therapist and patient and facilitate self-monitoring. Ultimately, they can be used to improve medication adherence.
Data extraction for youth mental health can be a challenging task. Researchers will need to extract accurate data to accurately describe participants, define the study design, and formulate effect sizes. It will also be necessary to identify any biases that may have occurred during the primary study. This is especially important for studies on children and adolescents because of the increased risk of privacy breaches.
To avoid any potential biases, researchers need to work with data providers to develop linkage methods that minimize such biases. This can be difficult, particularly in the case of school attendance data. But a linkage between health and education records can provide a powerful tool to assess the impact of mental health on school function.