IN THIS ISSUE: Hackett | Plenary | Posters | A&E Abstracts 

‘Intervening Earlier is Critical’

50% of all adult mental health conditions start before the age of 14 years; 75% before the age of 24

Saturday’s plenary speaker at CLP 2023 is Warren Y.K. Ng, MD, MPH, president of The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.


Warren Y.K. Ng, MD, MPH
Warren Y.K. Ng, MD, MPH

Be there—and during his presentation, Children of All Ages across the Lifespan: Integrating Care—you will be challenged to learn:

  • Opportunities for mental health interventions unique to integrated care settings.

And identify:

  • Specific strategies to help integrate mental health across care systems throughout the lifespan.

“Integrating mental health perspectives across the lifespan is the key to addressing our national mental health crisis,” says Dr. Ng. “The syndemics of racism and COVID-19 have created the perfect storm by worsening the already existing silent mental health pandemic across the country.

“One in five Americans live with a behavioral health or developmental disorder, yet fewer than half receive any treatment. This is worse among racial/ethnic and other minoritized populations with dire consequences on morbidity, mortality, and economic costs to our society.

“The social determinants of mental health and risk factors exacerbate the mental health crisis and include adverse childhood experiences, racial disparities, social isolation, trauma, food and housing insecurity, economic stress, and poverty.

“The crisis has exposed the inequities within our society and health system. It has been increasingly important to address the barriers to delivering mental health care and integrated behavioral health strategies is the solution— bringing the mental health care to where the individual is can help mitigate some of the challenges with stigma, access, and care coordination.”

Examples of integrated care within primary care and other health settings leverage the trusted relationship that individuals have while helping to holistically integrate the health and mental health experience, says Dr. Ng.

Because 50% of all adult mental health conditions start before the age of 14, and 75% before the age of 24, intervening earlier is critical.

“There are unique opportunities within health settings to address behavioral health throughout the lifespan for both the individual as well as the care team and system,” says Dr. Ng.

“Acknowledging specific strategies within integrated settings to embed mental health interventions across the prevention-to-intervention continuum will be important. Taking a developmental approach and leveraging the importance of working with everyone, within their families, can help promote mental health across generations.

“Approaching all interventions with a culturally humble, curious, and respectful perspective enables the continuous learning process so critical to providing meaningful care.”


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