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Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities
been funded to implement research-based violence prevention or substance abuse prevention programs. The state has also established a technical assistance and training center to provide resources needed to facilitate quality implementation by communities.
In another example, Kentucky is devoting 25 percent of its Phase I Tobacco Settlement resources to an early childhood initiative that includes maternal and child health–related activities, voluntary home visitation, Healthy Start, and other developmentally oriented initiatives.12 In late 2007, the state of Illinois announced that it would begin reimbursing community mental health providers for perinatal depression screening, which, if paired with interventions for the mother, could result in improved outcomes for her children. The state similarly accepts infants of mothers diagnosed with maternal depression into its early intervention program.
Some states are also making their own investments in early care and early childhood education services. For example, Illinois, Rhode Island, and North Carolina have each dedicated state resources to initiatives that include expanded child care, parenting, or prekindergarten programs (Mitchell and Alliance for Early Childhood Finance, 2005). In addition, most schools have various efforts in place to address the mental health needs of students, including universal interventions for all students, typically by patching together multiple funding streams (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2007).
Networks of state and local agencies related to prevention of alcohol and drug abuse are better established than for mental health. For example, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors convenes the National Prevention Network, an organization of state-level agencies involved with alcohol and drug abuse prevention. A similar organization, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, advances a community-level focus on drug and alcohol prevention. The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors does not currently have a comparable prevention-oriented structure. However, other groups, such as Mental Health America, have been advocating at local, state, and national levels for expansion of prevention programs related to mental health.
Health insurers, both public and private, also have the potential to fund preventive services for MEB disorders, although it is not clear to what extent this is currently happening. Given turnover in enrollees, private insurers may have little incentive to cover preventive services that yield long-term benefits.