Commission on Youth Releases Updated Resource on Mental Health Treatment Options

January 17, 2018

The Virginia Commission on Youth recently released a newly-updated edition of the Collection of Evidence-based Practices for Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Treatment Needs. This document was initially compiled at the direction of the General Assembly in 2002 and provides a comprehensive review of treatment options for a variety of mental health disorders afflicting children and youth. Legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2003 requires that this document be updated biennially, and the most recent edition incorporates substantial revisions to reflect the American Psychiatric Association’s revisions to the classifications of disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). The Collection is updated with the guidance of an advisory board of specialists in children’s mental health.

For each mental health condition, the Collection provides an analysis of treatments based on their documented effectiveness, grouping treatments into the following categories: “what works” (treatments that have performed well in randomized controlled trials with at least two researchers and use a treatment manual); “what seems to work” (treatments that meet all but one of the “what works” criteria or are commonly accepted as valid based on substantial evidence); “what does not work” (treatments that do not demonstrate effectiveness, were found to be inferior to another treatment option in a randomized controlled study, or demonstrated harmful effects in a study); or “not adequately tested.” The Collection also provides an extensive list of resources and related organizations for individuals seeking additional information.

The entire report may be found on the General Assembly website, and individual sections are available at the Commission on Youth’s website.

VACo Contact: Katie Boyle

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