, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 192-201
Date: 17 Jun 2010

Pilot Investigation of Service Use by Children Referred to A School-Mental Health Program in Alberta, Canada

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This study aimed to determine changes in service receipt and mental health status of children referred to a school-mental health partnership program in Alberta, Canada. Participants were caregivers of children formally evaluated by a psychiatrist and/or pediatrician within the program. Caregivers were interviewed about service use and child mental health status at 6 months post-assessment. Fifty-six families participated. Following evaluation, significant improvements in mental health status were observed. Child-aimed services, in particular use of psychotropic medications and formal recreation participation, significantly increased at follow-up, while use of services aimed at caregivers/families did not increase. Only limited evidence was observed for links between reported service uptake and change in child mental health status. This program appeared to increase service use, though only for certain service types. Naturalistic studies with larger sample sizes and/or experimental effectiveness studies are required to further investigate the relationship between outcomes and service receipts.