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A Consultative Study as a Catalyst for Improving Mental Health Services for Rural Children and Adolescents
Theodore A. Petti; Paul J. Comely; Ann McIntyre
Psychiatric Services 1993; doi:
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The authors thank Roberta Buchanan, Mary Kay Russo, Margaret Howell Beal, and Alfred Dahma of Beaver County, Pennsylvania; Ellen Benswanger, Ph.D., George Board, D.P.H., and Meyer Sonis, M.D., of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic; the consultative study team; and the human services leaders in Beaver County.

Riley Hospital for Children, 702 Barnhill (3N), Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh

The base services unit in Beaver County, Pennsylvania

1993 by the American Psychiatric Association

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The consultative study is one model of academic involvement in public mental health services. However, the effects of consultation and how it acts as a catalyst for change have been poorly documented. The authors describe a consultative study in which a team from an academic training center examined the system of mental health and related human services for children and adolescents in a semirural county in western Pennsylvania. They also present results of a six-year follow-up survey assessing the study's effects. Improvement in the system of care during the follow-up period included creation and maintenance of a children's unit and a partial hospital program for adolescents at the county's community mental health center. The consultative study and the follow-up survey were instrumental in establishing a comprehensive range of services, including intensive case management for severely disturbed youngsters and a home-based mental health services program.

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