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Effects of School-Based Mental Health Programs on Mental Health Service Use by Adolescents at School and in the Community

Abstract

Many schools provide counseling to adolescents with behavioral and emotional problems on-site, but little is known about the use of school-based counseling services in the United States, and it is unclear whether these services complement or substitute for counseling services available outside of school. In this study data on mental health services offered in schools are used to estimate the probability of receiving emotional counseling at school and elsewhere. Where mental health services were available on-site, students were substantially more likely to see a counselor in the previous year, controlling for mental health status, health insurance coverage, and other factors. The effects of availability were greater for students enrolled in special education programs than for other students. However, these data also suggest that, relative to other schools, schools offering on-site mental health counseling do not increase or reduce use of counseling services outside of school on average.

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Slade, E.P. Effects of School-Based Mental Health Programs on Mental Health Service Use by Adolescents at School and in the Community. Ment Health Serv Res 4, 151–166 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1019711113312

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