10/05/2023 Grand Rounds

Juvenile Justice and Mental Health, Policy WTC


Patricia Elliott, DrPH
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Science, BU School of Public Health

The youth mental health crisis continues to receive public attention given the impact of the pandemic on the U.S. population. Youth whose severe mental health needs are unmet are at risk not only for impaired quality of life but increased likelihood of involvement in the court system. Families of these youth face many barriers to accessing appropriate services through both the school and medical systems. The Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids (MHAP for kids) is a model for breaking down these barriers for income-eligible families through the advocacy of no-cost legal representation from an experienced staff attorney. This presentation will describe the work of MHAP for Kids, our evaluation findings to date, and future dissemination of the model to other regions.

Learning Objectives:
    1. Describe the purpose and role of the MHAP for kids program in Massachusetts.
    2. Describe systems breakdowns and the barriers families face when trying to access needed mental health services for their youth.
    3. Give Examples of how you can share information to assist families in crisis, using the information learned in the session.