Youths' access to mental health services: The role of providers' training, resource connectivity, and assessment of need

Arlene Rubin Stiffman, Eric Hadley-Ives, Peter Doré, Michael Polgar, Violet E. Horvath, Catherine Striley, Diane Elze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper posits that providers with training in and knowledge of mental health resources are more likely to recognize youths' mental health problems, and provide youths with services. In 1994 and 1996, we interviewed 792 adolescents who were involved with St. Louis public health, juvenile justice, child welfare, or education service sectors. Two hundred eighty-two youths had received some services, listing 533 providers. We could identify 364 of those providers, and 61% (222) responded concerning service need, service use, and provider knowledge and behavior. Structural equation models demonstrate that provider assessment of youths' mental health problems is the largest and provider knowledge of service resources the second largest determinant of service provision. Youths' self-reported mental health is not positively associated with increased services and is only minimally associated with provider assessment of their problems. Training (both professional and inservice) contributes to higher assessments of youths' problems and greater resource knowledge, which is associated with increased service provision. Providers from the mental health and child welfare sectors have more professional training in mental health and are more likely to receive inservice training. Inservice training should be offered to all who work with youths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-154
Number of pages14
JournalMental Health Services Research
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy

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