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News and Notes   |    
News Briefs
Psychiatric Services 2012; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.20120p949
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Copyright © 2012 by the American Psychiatric Association.

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SAMHSA data show depression rates triple among adolescent girls: A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that between the ages of 12 and 15, the percentage of girls reporting a past-year major depressive episode triples—from 5.1% to 15.2%. According to combined data from the 2008 to 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an average of 1.4 million girls ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode each year. This group was three times more likely than their male counterparts to have a major depressive episode (12% versus 4.5%). “It is crucial that we provide adolescent girls the coping skills and social supports they need to avoid the onset of depression and to offer behavioral health services that foster resilience and recovery if they experience it,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde in a press release. Data in the report also indicate that older adolescent girls were more likely to receive treatment for their depression than younger ones; about two-fifths of girls ages 15 to 17 received treatment, compared with only one-third of the girls aged 12 to 14. The report is available on the SAMHSA Web site at www.samhsa.gov/data/spotlight/Spot077GirlsDepression2012.pdf.

NASMHPD report outlines roles of SBHAs: State behavioral health authorities (SBHAs) in all 50 states, four territories, and the District of Columbia are responsible for the behavioral health needs of nearly seven million people and for the $37 billion public behavioral health service delivery system. A report from the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) provides a comprehensive review of the roles, responsibilities, and coordinating efforts undertaken by the SBHAs. It is intended to inform and guide executive, legislative, and judicial decision makers at all levels of government, provider organizations, and other stakeholders in regard to the role, scope of authority, and expertise of SBHAs. The report describes key roles in several areas: manage and coordinate behavioral health public policy, public safety, and public welfare; manage and coordinate financing and coverage; prioritize funding related to nonmedical services; and manage, improve, and coordinate quality of care and delivery of services. The 73-page report, Too Significant to Fail: The Importance of State Behavioral Health Agencies in the Daily Lives of Americans With Mental Illness, for Their Families, and for Their Communities, is available on the NASMHPD Web site at www.nasmhpd.org/docs/publications/Too%20Significant%20To%20Fail.pdf.

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