1. Families are informed that they have access to resources when they need them without barriers of culture, cost, or type of service.

  2. Families and communities are partners in the development and implementation of preventive interventions and learn to manage their access and utilization of prevention services.

  3. The development and application of appropriate preventive intervention strategies contribute to narrowing rather than widening health disparities.

  4. Teachers, child care workers, health care providers, and other professionals who work with young people are routinely trained on approaches to support the behavioral and emotional health of young people and the prevention of MEB disorders.

The type of system envisioned above, which routinely provides universal interventions that support healthy development for all and systematically identifies groups and individuals at greater risk to provide them with specific services, could result in very different outcomes for the nation’s young people. Table 13-1 illustrates what a system might look like at various developmental phases.

International Perspectives

The committee was impressed with evidence showing that some of the prevention advances being suggested for the United States are already in place in other developed nations. A comprehensive review of international policies and programs is outside the scope of this report. However, a brief discussion and a few examples illustrate that our recommendations are not merely utopian dreams, but rather a call for the nation to make available to children and families the types of services and initiatives that are already being implemented in other countries.

Europe as a whole is working toward a comprehensive strategy on mental health, with a strong focus on mental health promotion and the prevention of MEB disorders (Jané-Llopis and McDaid, 2005). As this process unfolds, it could inform how the United States should integrate prevention into systems at the federal, state, and local levels while taking into account the distinct needs of different communities. At the World Health Organization Ministerial Conference on Mental Health in 2005, member states of the European Region endorsed a European Action Plan for Mental Health that includes the promotion of mental health and prevention of mental illness (World Health Organization, 2005). In support of the implementation of the action plan, the European Commission produced a Green Paper on Mental Health. This document outlined a framework to increase the coherence of health and nonhealth policies in support of mental

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement