System of Care

Since the first edition of A Shared Vision, many changes have occurred in children's mental health services, especially in services for serious emotional disorders. Alaska has mirrored the rest of the country in focusing on the need for an integrated network of services that is consumer driven and delivered in the least restrictive setting. Efforts by the Alaska Mental Health Board, Department of Health and Social Services, providers, consumers and advocacy groups have targeted development of appropriate intensive services and new service delivery models. However, stakeholders agree that in mental health services for children and youth a gap exists between the needs of consumers and the availability of services.

The components of services for children and youth should include:

· Mental health services (respite, emergency, therapeutic foster care).

· Prevention services and early intervention.

· Educational services.

· Cultural services.

· Physical health services.

· Substance abuse services.

· Social services.

· Child protection.

· Youth Corrections.

· Transition and vocational services.

· Recreational services.

· Support services (e.g., case management, family support and self help groups, advocacy, legal services, transportation, etc.).

Non-residential mental health services include:

· Prevention.

· Early identification and intervention.

· Assessment: psychological, psychiatric and neurological evaluations.

· Outpatient therapy: individual, family, group therapy, activity therapy, socialization therapy, living skills therapy.

· Crisis services.

· Case management.

· Respite care.

· Medication management.

· Home based services.

· School based services.

· Day treatment.

· Emergency services, evaluation and referral.

· Support services.

· Skill building.

Residential services are a component of the network of services that should be available, including:

· Crisis respite residential services/planned respite.

· Therapeutic foster care.

· Therapeutic group care.

· Therapeutic camp services.

· Residential treatment services.

· Inpatient hospitalization.

· Transition services.