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A Literature Review Exploring the Continuity of Mental Health Services from Infancy through Adolescence
  • Patricia Lanzon,
  • William Clark,
  • Deborah Bruns
Patricia Lanzon
University of Pittsburgh Bradford

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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William Clark
University of Pittsburgh Bradford
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Deborah Bruns
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
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This literature review analyzed the themes across infant mental health through adolescent mental health continuation of services. Another aim of this literature review was to identify the gaps in the continuation of mental health services across childhood. Findings from this literature review indicated a need for continuation of services to focus on the child and their family, provide support over developmental stages, as well as share information between agencies. Birth to age three coordinated services projects that followed U.S. Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act early intervention coordinated services mandate were excellent with meeting the young child’s needs. After third grade, the gap between continuity of mental health service providers and the school system occurred. Adolescent mental health programs took a wrap-around approach geared toward minimizing residential/juvenile placement. Cross-cultural results indicated policies that reduce child poverty and its effects while nurturing resilience in children are likely to enhance physical and mental health in adolescence. This literature review contributes to the understanding that federal policy needs to include designated funds for mental health continuation of services past age eight as well as investing in the development of a centralized depository/database that flags families for mental health support.