Date: 28 Aug 2012

Prior Service Utilization in Detained Youth with Mental Health Needs

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Abstract

This study examined the prevalence of mental health needs and rates of service utilization among youth detained in a metropolitan juvenile justice system in California. Of the 345 youth in the sample, 265 (76.8 %) qualified for high or acute mental health need and 210 (60.9 %) had at least one prior contact with mental health services. No differences in mental health need were found across ethnicities; however rates of prior service utilization significantly differed (χ2 = 19.18, p < 0.001). Asian and Pacific Islander participants were less likely to have had prior contact with county services than any other ethnic group.