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Programs For Mentally Ill Teens, Adults Improve Skills

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Programs for mentally ill U.S. teens and adults achieve positive outcomes in behavioral and emotional health, skills, employment and education, officials say.

A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also showed older adolescents and young adults who had participated in these SAMHSA-supported treatment programs reported lower levels of substance use disorders.

The report, Promoting Recovery and Independence for Older Adolescents and Young Adults Who Experience Serious Mental Health Challenges, indicates that 20 percent of young adults living in U.S. households had a mental health condition in the last year. Of these, more than 1.3 million had a disorder so serious that their ability to function in many aspects of everyday life was compromised, the report said.

For example, among older adolescents and young adults participating in the SAMHSA-sponsored Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program, 28 percent showed significant improvement in their behavioral and emotional health within the first six months, and 38 percent showed significant improvement within the first year.

Many participants reported they had greater confidence in their abilities to perform important life skills such as preparing meals and securing rental agreements, while homelessness dropped by 36 percent after six months among those ages 18 and older.

“These data show that treatment is effective,” Pamela S. Hyde, administrator of SAMHSA, said in a statement. “Young people who experience mental or substance use disorders can recover and lead healthy, productive lives with improvements in employment opportunities, housing, education and emotional well-being.”

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