Volume 32, Issue 4 (2003)
Commentary: Expanding on Effectiveness
William E. Pelham, Jr., Greta M. Massetti
Atkins, Graczyk, Frazier, and Abdul-Adil (2003) make the point that there have been three limitations of mental health services for children and families in low-income, urban settings: (a) accessibility, (b) effectiveness, and(c) sustainability. Their article focuses extensively on improving access and addressing issues of sustainability in school-based services for children with mental health problems, extending the traditional focus on effectiveness in this area. They argue that the traditional academic model that focuses on providing mental health services in controlled settings may overestimate the effectiveness of these interventions if provided in community settings and at the same time ignores the critical issues of access to and sustainability of programs for under represented urban populations. They describe a program of research in which they address these issues in the Chicago city schools. We commend the authors for their innovative model that expands the horizon of mental health services for underrepresented urban youth and their arguments for conceptualizing such services in school settings. In general, we agree with the authors’ suggestions and find much value in what they propose.However, we have some points of clarification and further suggestions that we offer for the authors’ and readers’ consideration.
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