Mental Health Services Program for Youth Replication

An RWJF National Program

Dates of Program: July 1993 through August 1999

Field of Work: Demonstration that a collaborative effort between states and local communities could yield a comprehensive, effective service system for seriously mentally ill youth.

Problem Synopsis: The service delivery system for individuals with chronic health conditions, including serious mental illness, has historically been fragmented, uncoordinated, and inefficiently organized.

Synopsis of the Work: Building on the Mental Health Services Program for Youth (1988 to 1998), which demonstrated that through a collaborative effort between states and local communities, a more comprehensive, effective service system for seriously mentally ill youth could be developed, the Mental Health Services Program for Youth Replication enabled 12 states to use and apply tools and techniques developed in the original program.

Key Results

  • Eight of 12 states developed capitated market-oriented systems of care. The four states that had not reached this point by the end of the program were moving in this direction when the program ended.

  • Data from individual sites indicates the following results:

    • In Illinois, more than 1,000 children were enrolled in wraparound plans, which led to a net reduction of 1,000 children in residential treatment centers.
    • The Dawn Project in Indiana documented a reduction by 50 percent in the cost of residential care.
    • In Mississippi, in the first year of implementation, the project reported a 95 percent reduction in institutional out-of-community placements.
    • In San Francisco, there was a decrease in hospital use of more than one third, residential placements were at one-half of the projected rate, and re-arrests were reduced by 28 percent.
    • In Massachusetts, the total number of hospital days dropped from 56 in the previous 12 months, to 17 in the first 12 months of the program.
    • In Michigan, none of the children with a substantiated abuse/neglect complaint had a similar complaint one year after receipt of wraparound services.

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