Mental Health & Well-Being
Why it matters
Supporting Youth Mental Health
During adolescence, young people are at the peak of their physical health, emotional growth, and creativity. This is also the phase of development where many mental health issues arise. Both medical and behavioral health providers can play a crucial role in ensuring adolescents’ mental health needs are met so they can thrive.
AHI offers mental health resources in various formats, from trainings to practice change guides:
- Timely Topics Modules – Web-based modules for clinicians
- Spark trainings – Ready-to-use mini-trainings
- Starter Guides – Mini-toolkits that offer concrete, actionable steps to improve adolescent care
- Youth-Friendly Materials – Visual cues to help build and enhance youth-friendly environments
- Adolescent-Centered Environment Assessment Process for Behavioral Health (ACE-AP: BH)
Mental Health Resources
Power Meetings help interdisciplinary teams form concrete, realistic work plans for sustainable practice change through video vignettes from peer providers, sample workflows and strategies, and the selection of manageable action steps.
Power Meeting: Integrated Behavioral Health
Many adolescent-serving health centers find it challenging to implement effective collaboration between primary care and behavioral health providers. Integrating behavioral health services into primary care settings usually entails implementing new workflows for screening, communications, and billing, as well as arranging for provider and staff training. To help sites tackle common challenges with integrating behavioral health services, we created the Power Meeting: Integrated Behavioral Health, an interactive, web-based tool that guides interdisciplinary teams through one meeting where they work through activities and create a customized, actionable plan over the course of two hours.
Click the button below for access to the Power Meeting and instructions to prepare.
Timely Topics Trainings
AHI’s Timely Topics Trainings are self-paced web modules that blend vignettes from youth and subject matter experts with salient research and practice-based activities to emerging needs in adolescent care.
Trauma-Informed Care with Adolescent Patients
For adolescents who have experienced trauma, visiting a health center can be uncomfortable and even re-traumatizing, and providers have the potential to create health care experiences that are comforting and reassuring. This Timely Topics module provides a brief outline of the impacts of trauma on adolescents and shares strategies for practicing trauma-responsive care in a primary care setting.
Adolescent Suicide Prevention in Primary Care
CONTENT WARNING: This module discusses suicide and mental illness. Some of the content may be emotional and challenging to engage with depending on your personal experiences.
As suicide remains the second leading cause of death for adolescents and barriers to accessing mental health care remain high, primary care providers often become the entry point of mental health care for these patients. These trends highlight a need for primary care providers to be trained in the identification, treatment, and management of depression and suicidal ideation among youth. To support providers’ learning on these topics, AHI is piloting its new Adolescent Suicide Prevention in Primary Care Timely Topic, a resource that provides evidence-based guidance on these topics and strategies that can be implemented in a primary care setting.
Adolescent Sexual Health for Behavioral Health Clinicians
CONTENT WARNING: This module broadly discusses trauma and sexual violence. Depending on your personal experience, some of the content may be emotional and challenging.
Youth-friendly sexual and mental health care are two of adolescents’ biggest priorities in their overall health care. AHI’s youth council members report feeling like their therapists often aren’t comfortable talking about sexual health, including relationships, sexuality, and gender identity. Behavioral health providers have the opportunity to set an affirming, supportive atmosphere for adolescents to discuss these topics in a safe, confidential space. Timely Topics: Adolescent Sexual Health for Behavioral Health Clinicians was developed in partnership with AHI’s Teen Advisory Council and clinicians, and it is intended to assist behavioral health care providers in navigating strengths-based, youth-friendly sexual health-related conversations with adolescent and young adult clients.
Sparks are designed for providers or staff to deliver in 15-30 minutes at staff meetings or professional development opportunities. These trainings will “spark” discussion and reflection among your multidisciplinary team. All sparks include a PowerPoint presentation, a facilitator outline, and follow-up materials.
Being Youth Friendly - For Behavioral Health Providers
Identify with your team key staff and provider behaviors that are essential to providing youth-friendly care.
Identify and discuss key concepts about providing culturally responsive health care to young people and reflect on various cultural norms unique to adolescence.
Being an Askable Adult
Discuss strategies adults can use to help youth feel comfortable asking for support and refer them to services like health care or mental health.
AHI Starter Guides are mini-toolkits that offer concrete, actionable steps to improve adolescent care.
Adolescent Mental Health in Primary Care
Trauma-Informed Care for Adolescents in Primary Care
Learn about how you can improve health care experiences for adolescents.
Dr. Jeffrey P. Winer, an Attending Psychologist within the Trauma and Community Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and an Instructor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School lead this plenary address, Mental Health Practice with Immigrant and Refugee Youth, at the 2021 Conference on Adolescent Health.
Visual cues to help you build and enhance youth-friendly environments.
There are eleven sections in the ACE-AP: BH covering these domains:
- Access to Care
- Adolescent Appropriate Environment
- Best Practices and Standards of Care
- Respectful Treatment
- Parent & Caregiver Engagement
- Community Engagement
- Trauma-Informed Care
- Integrated/Coordinated Care
- Cultural Responsiveness
- Adolescent Involvement and Empowerment
Adolescent-Centered Environment Assessment Process for Behavioral Health (ACE-AP: BH)
For years, the Adolescent Health Initiative (AHI) has been eager to bring the principles of the Adolescent-Centered Environment Assessment Process (ACE-AP) for primary care to a behavioral health setting. With support from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, we adapted our original intervention to be implemented in behavioral health centers.
The ACE-AP for Behavioral Health (ACE-AP: BH) is a facilitated, comprehensive self-assessment and guided improvement process that includes customized resources, recommendations, technical assistance, and implementation plans using Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) improvement cycles. The ACE-AP: BH process aims to remove barriers to change and streamlines implementation to improve care delivery to adolescents, specifically in behavioral health.
The ACE-AP for Behavioral Health is currently in its pilot phase of implementation. If you are interested in bringing the ACE-AP for Behavioral Health to your health center or would like to collaborate on this project, please contact Lauren Leslie at email@example.com.
We Can Help!
Is your practice interested in learning more about the ACE-AP for Behavioral Health? We help health centers across the country become more adolescent-centered.