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Client Advocacy and Adolescent Depression

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Previously I asked for assistance with selecting an area of mental health and outlined three key points that would address if you were developing an informational speech for the general public. (See Attachment).

Can you revisit this area of mental health, address the following:

Describe at least three local advocacy activities, services, and/or public policies that address an area of mental health in the community and state (Georgia). For example, domestic violence, you might research the services available to serve victims and perpetrators in your community, the legal and advocacy services for victims, state funding for victims, policies regarding welfare and protection of children living in violent homes, et cetera. Describe how these resources or lack of resources might impact your ability to provide services that are equitable and responsive to the unique needs of your clients. Identify at least three policies, programs, and services that you would like to advocate for to improve the services you could provide for your clients.

Identify one policy, program, or resource in this area that you would like to advocate for to improve the services you could provide for your clients. Provide examples of the advocacy efforts you could make. What skills will you need to develop in order to be a successful advocate for your clients? Identify at least three skills in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Community and Agency Settings text that you might incorporate into your own skill set.

Discuss any personal cultural heritage, biases, and beliefs that may impact your advocacy efforts in this area of mental health.

Analyze how client advocacy strategies and public policies can inform the effective delivery of mental health practices in your community.

APA standards for style and professionalism.
Include a minimum of 3 references from professional literature.

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(1) Describe at least three local advocacy activities, services, and/or public policies that address an area of mental health in the community and state (Georgia).

Based on a national report, Mental Health America, Georgia has the highest rate of depression and is rated number 19th in suicide rates. Among the factors contributing to Georgia's high rank in depression statistics is the lack of access to mental health services (dhs.georgia.gov/georgia). Depression in Georgia is cited as the principal cause of approximately 900 suicides each year. The state's director of mental health in Georgia acknowledges that the percentage of the adolescent population (ages 12 to17) had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

Suicide is linked to the high rate of depression. Suicide is reported as the third most common cause of death among youth 15-24 years old and young adults 25 to 34 years old. (http://dbhdd.georgia.gov/). Formerly known as the Office of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, in Georgia because of demographic changes in the United States the office is oriented to offer support and guidance to young adults. Now known as the Office of Children, Young Adults and Families (CYF) offers children, young adults and their families a range of treatment and support services to address emotional and behavioral problems.

Georgia has initiated and/or modified several policies to address the problem of adolescent depression in the state such as:
Policy 01-105—addresses the denial and appeal process for psychiatric residential treatment (PRTF) and the level of care for children and adolescents with a mental health disorder.

Policy 01-104—cites the requirement of informed consent for administering psychotropic medication and treatment of child and adolescent population.
Depression & Bipolar Support Services—educates parents, families, professionals; and the public on the nature of depressive and manic depressive illness among adolescents in Georgia. (www.focus.com).

(2) Describe how these resources or lack of resources might impact your ability to provide services that are equitable and responsive to the unique needs of your clients. Identify at least three policies, programs, and services that you would like to advocate for to improve the services you could provide for your clients.

As adolescent depression is cited as a growing problem in many states, including Georgia, it is necessary that activities and/or services be implemented to address the problem immediately. Depression is described as a chronic mental illness, that when '(untreated and unmanaged' it may persist for weeks, months, years." However with early treatment, most people are stated to make a full recovery. One facility in Georgia that is oriented to early treatment and individual care is "Lakeland Treatment Center for Depression". Based on the facility's description of services, each person is provided with individualized care to avoid co-occurring disorders. It is reported that every year about two million adolescents (1 in every 12) suffer an episode of depression; 1 in 5 adolescents experience depression before they reach adulthood. Therefore, it is important to detect and treat depression in adolescents at the onset of symptoms.

The ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the advocacy and implementation of policies for the treatment of adolescent depression from the perspective of Georgian health initiatives.

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Public Communication

Can you select an area of mental health to which you have been exposed, either through your clients or your professional reading. Examples of this might be child abuse, the severely and persistently mentally ill, or level of funding or resources. Outline in paragraph form three key points you would want to include if you were speaking to the public about this area.

Please utilize other theoretical, empirical, or professional literature to support your views and writings. Reference your sources using standard APA guidelines.

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