From a public health perspective, efforts to improve access to upstream, preventive behavioral health services should result in fewer crises for the system to respond to, and lead to better outcomes for service recipients as well. This is particularly true in addressing the needs of children and youth, since early and effective intervention can make a positive difference for both a young individual and their family for many years to come.
To help bring about this shift, the Commonwealth Fund engaged TAC to create a series of posts for its To the Point blog on incorporating Medicaid and best practices to prevent and resolve behavioral health crises for children and adolescents. These quick overviews are intended to help those who design, finance, and implement behavioral health services — as well as people who work in other child-serving systems.
Medicaid’s Essential Role in Improving the Mental Health of America’s Most Vulnerable Youth describes how states can improve access to preventive behavioral health services through Medicaid, a shift that can yield significant savings and provide ongoing benefits as young people become adults.
Strengthening Schools to Address Children’s Behavioral Health Needs explains that in addition to funding, policy support is critical for schools, which aren’t accustomed to navigating the complexities of Medicaid and health care billing.
Strengthening Home- and Community-Based Services to Stabilize Young People with Behavioral Health Problems and Keep Them Out of Hospitals describes how communities are working creatively to find solutions, including expanding behavioral health mobile crisis teams, to help stabilize youth before they reach crises.
More posts to be added as they are published.