Indigenous Mental Health Article Published Online!

The article, “Mental and substance use disorders from early adolescence to young adulthood among indigenous young people: final diagnostic results from an 8-year panel study”, was recently published online first at Social Psychiatry and Epidemiology. Les Whitbeck, Kelley Sittner Hartshorn, Devan Crawford, Melissa Walls, Kari Gentzler, and Dan Hoyt collaborated on this article. Their objective was to investigate change in prevalence rates for mental and substance abuse disorders between early adolescence and young adulthood in a cohort of indigenous adolescents who participated in an 8-year panel study. The findings show a dramatic increase in lifetime prevalence rates for substance use disorders. By young adulthood, over half had met criteria of substance abuse or dependence disorder. Also at young adulthood, 58.2 % had met lifetime criteria of a single substance use or mental disorder and 37.2 % for two or more substance use or mental disorders. The results are compared to other indigenous diagnostic studies and to the general population. A mental health crisis exists within the indigenous populations that participated in this study. Innovations within current mental health service systems are needed to address the unmet demand of adolescents and families.

To read the entire article, click here.