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Community-based systems of care lead to improved mental health services for children
Detail: The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released data showing that children and youth enrolled in community-based systems of mental health care spend less time in inpatient care, experience fewer arrests, make improvements in their overall mental health and do better in school than before enrollment. SAMHSA is a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation's substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment and mental health service delivery systems.

Community-based systems of care are coordinated networks of local services and supports that are organized to meet the challenges of children and youth with serious mental health needs. Families and youth work in partnership with public and private organizations to ensure the effectiveness of services and supports, build on the strengths of individuals, and address each person's needs.

The SAMHSA data suggest that community-based systems of care are more cost effective than traditional mental health services. On average, community-based approaches save public health systems $2,776.85 per child in inpatient costs over the course of a year, and save juvenile justice systems $784.16 per child within the same time frame. These and other data related to key outcomes, such as reductions in suicide-related behaviors and reductions in juvenile detentions or incarcerations can be found by visiting
Date: June 11 2006