Mental health is just as important as physical health to a child's well-being.

Mental health is just as important as physical health to a child's well-being.

Best and Evidence-Based Practices

Best and evidence-based practices in mental health are the types of treatment and services for children and families that are known to work the best. It is sometimes frustrating for parents to learn that unlike other forms of medicine, mental health treatment does not always follow specific guidelines or have research that shows that it works. However, the mental health field has come a long way in the past decade and we are learning more and more about what types of treatment work best to address a range of mental health issues and concerns.

Best practices may be new or emerging practices that have gotten the attention of consumers, providers and researchers as being effective or promising treatments for certain disorders. There may be some research to show that these treatments are effective, but clinicians use these treatments primarily because they are accepted as the best available treatment for certain concerns.  Some best practices eventually become “evidence-based practices” because they have specific guidelines and are shown through numerous research studies to be effective for relieving targeted symptoms and improving your child’s day-to-day functioning. Evidence-based treatments meet a high standard for quality and effectiveness and clinicians receive specific training to deliver them to children and families.

For many, but not all disorders, best practices and evidence-based practices have been identified. It is important to ask your provider if there are best practices or evidence based practices available to treat your child’s difficulty, and if the provider has been trained to use these approaches. The Federal Government has attempted to list and describe best and evidence-based practices and you can find this information on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices created by the  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.

 

April is World Autism Month

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a general term for disorders of brain development characterized by a range of symptoms. ASD is characterized by many different symptoms, the most common being difficulties with social interaction, difficulties with verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. The degrees to which a child on the spectrum will experience each difficulty can vary greatly. There are no medical tests to diagnose Autism. Instead, physicians and psychologists administer behavioral evaluations. Treatments can include both behavioral treatments and medicines, with professional teams working closely with the child and their family. Recognizing the early signs of Autism can lead to earlier intervention, resulting in better outcomes. To access resources related to Autism, please click here. You can also visit www.kidsmentalhealthinfo.com and search for “Autism” in our resources database.