RD16 - Biennial Report of the Collection of Evidence-based Practices for Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Treatment Needs

    Executive Summary:
    The 2002 General Assembly, through Senate Joint Resolution 99, directed the Virginia Commission on Youth to coordinate the collection of empirically based information on treatments recognized as effective for children, including juvenile offenders, with mental health treatment needs. The resulting publication entitled Collection of Evidence-based Treatments for Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Treatment Needs (Collection) was compiled by the Commission on Youth with the assistance of an advisory group of experts, pursuant to the resolution. The Collection was first published as House Document 9 and presented to the Governor and the 2003 General Assembly.

    The 2003 General Assembly subsequently passed Senate Joint Resolution 358, which required the Commission to update the Collection biennially and disseminate the publication via web technologies. As specified in the resolution, the Commission received assistance in these efforts from the Advisory Group and the Secretaries of Health and Human Resources, Education, and Public Safety. As a result, the Collection is now in its 4th Edition.

    The Collection summarizes current research on mental health treatments which have been proven effective in treating children and adolescents. The Collection is intended to serve a broad readership: educators, service providers, parents, caregivers, and others seeking information on evidence-based mental health practices for youth. The Collection has been widely used since first published in 2002; monthly web hits for the Collection range between 20,000 and 40,000.

    After publication of the Collection 4th Edition in 2010, the Commission sent letters to the Secretaries of Health and Human Resources, Education, and Public Safety, agencies, private provider associations, and psychiatric societies, requesting these entities to encourage the use of proven practices for child and adolescent behavioral health and developmental services in the programming and development of any future projects.

    Letters were also sent to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the Virginia Community College System to encourage inclusion of evidence-based practices at post-secondary level programming in psychology, psychiatry, social work, and counseling.

    Commission staff met with stakeholder groups on February 23, May 18 and June 27, 2011 to receive their input on the Collection. The Advisory Group convened on September 7, 2011.

    At its November 9, 2011 meeting, the Commission on Youth adopted the following recommendations:

    Recommendation 1:
    The Commission on Youth will revise the Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities sections of the Collection 4th Edition and limit these sections to discussion of co-occurring mental health disorders.

    Recommendation 2:
    The Commission on Youth will add a disclaimer to the Collection 5th Edition to acknowledge that Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorders are not mental health disorders.

    Recommendation 3:
    The Commission on Youth will convene the Advisory Group prior to the 2013 biennial update and discuss further modifying the Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorders sections to include best practices in service delivery for developmental disabilities.

    Recommendation 4:
    The Commission on Youth will disseminate the Collection 4th Edition to licensing boards, department chairpersons, and program directors in the departments of social work, psychology, rehabilitation counseling, nursing, psychiatry, and human services in all Virginia colleges and universities and request that it be shared with undergraduate program directors and administrators.

    Recommendation 5:
    Request that Virginia’s health profession licensing boards post the Collection 4th Edition on their websites and request that continuing education requirements include credits on evidence-based practices in the field of child mental health.

    During the 2011 update, staff is reviewing the literature in the fields of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities. These sections will be revised to focus on co-occurring mental health disorders.

    A comprehensive update of the Collection will occur during summer 2013, following release of the American Psychiatric Association's publication Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

    The Commission on Youth thanks the numerous individuals who assist in this legislative initiative on an ongoing basis and who lend expertise and direction in reaching targeted audiences for current research on evidence-based treatments.

    A report will be submitted to the General Assembly and the Governor at a later date for this publication.

    Amy M. Atkinson
    Executive Director
    January 2012