Community mental health as a population-based mental health approach

Cai, Stefanie Yuxuan, and Fung, Daniel Sheng (2016) Community mental health as a population-based mental health approach. Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 53 (1). pp. 33-39.

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Background: Mental health services for youths in Singapore were challenged by accessibility and resource constraints. A community-based mental health program working with schools and other partners was developed to address the population needs.

Aim: To describe the formation of a community-based mental health program and evaluate the program in terms of its outcome and the satisfaction of the users of this program.

Methods: Based on needs analyses, a community multidisciplinary team was set up in 15 schools to pilot a new model of care for youths. Implemented progressively over five years,networks of teams were divided into four geographic zones. Each zone had clusters of 10 to 15 schools. These teams worked closely with school counselors. Teams were supported by a psychiatrist and a resident. Interventions were focused on empowering school-based personnel to work with students and families,with the support of the teams.

Results: 4,184 students were served of whom 10% were seen by the school counselors and supported by the community team. Only 0.15% required referral to tertiary services. Outcome measured by counselor and teacher ratings showed improvements in the Clinical Global Impression scale and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. These included reductions in conduct problems,emotional problems,hyperactive behaviors and peer problems. Furthermore,prosocial behavior also significantly improved. Preliminary cost effectiveness analyses suggest that community treatments are superior to clinic interventions.

Conclusion: There is evidence that a population-based community mental health program with schools can be implemented through a multisectoral approach with good outcomes that is cost effective.

Item ID: 49310
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0333-7308
Related URLs:
Funders: Ministry of Health, Singapore
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2017 23:45
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420313 Mental health services @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
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