distinctions among what is considered promotion, prevention, and treatment. However, as discussed in more detail later in the report, there is no bright line separating promotion from prevention or prevention from treatment. We hope that readers of the report will appreciate that mental health promotion, prevention of mental health disorders, and treatment lie on a continuum, with each aspect of the continuum warranting attention. We also hope that the distinctions we draw among them will help guide policy, research, and funding decisions to ensure that progress in the areas of mental health promotion and prevention can accelerate. Unlike the 1994 IOM report, the committee has embraced mental health promotion as an integral component of the continuum that warrants attention.

The committee also recognizes that the term “prevention” applies to multiple fields of health. However, for simplicity, as used in this report, the term refers to prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral problems rather than prevention of other sources of illness and disability.

The committee met five times during the course of the study and commissioned a series of papers on evidence related to early childhood, school-based, family-based, community-based, and culturally specific interventions, intervention cost-effectiveness, and aspects of screening and assessment. At the beginning of our deliberations, the committee heard from a variety of professional and other organizations actively involved in children’s mental health issues. We convened a full-day workshop to hear from experts representing a variety of methodological issues, prevention approaches, and policy considerations. The workshop also included a panel to discuss recent developments in epigenetics and developmental neuroscience and a series of presentations on issues specific to youthful alcohol use (see Appendix B for a list of public meetings and presenters7). In addition to an assessment of the evidence by leading experts at the workshop, the committee reviewed available meta-analyses and systematic reviews regarding prevention and promotion and key literature since 1994 related to our charge.


The remainder of this report is organized in three parts. Part I provides contextual and background information, beginning with a description of the available epidemiological literature on the prevalence and incidence of MEB disorders (Chapter 2). It then moves to a discussion of the scope of prevention, including the definitions of the various types of prevention and discussion of recent developments and definitions of mental health promotion (Chapter 3). The next two chapters outline perspectives on the


This appendix is available only online. Go to http://www.nap.edu and search for Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People.

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