STATEMENT OF TASK
Communities represent the front line in addressing many mental and behavioral conditions experienced by children, young adults, and their families. Almost half of Americans will meet one or more clinical criteria for mental and behavioral health or substance abuse disorders sometime in their life, with the first onset usually in childhood or adolescence. Indeed, lifetime prevalence of mental or behavioral disorders may be as high as 37 percent by age 16. Such disorders convey a tremendous personal burden to the affected individuals and their families and present substantial challenges and costs to the broader community. Nevertheless, the same community setting - in which children and their families live, work, and learn - also presents a cardinal opportunity for treatment and prevention of mental, behavioral health, and substance use disorders.
A crucial component in addressing the mental and behavioral needs of children and families includes implementation of evidence-based prevention interventions and policies in the community setting. Important topics currently being examined include how communities use evidence to select interventions for implementation; what are the core components of evidence-based prevention in communities and how they can be adapted to meet local needs; how to meaningfully engage communities in evidence-based prevention related research; methodological developments in studying and implementing prevention interventions; the different roles that implementation of preventive principles versus preventive interventions may play; the use of universal versus selective preventive interventions; and the efficacy of evidence-based prevention across different populations.
The Forum on Promoting Children's Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health will hold a workshop to examine these issues with particular effort to engage experts engaged in the community environment, exploring the gaps between current research evidence and practice needs, and discussions on the sustainability of evidence-based prevention implementation in communities.