New York — The Partnership at Drugfree.org and TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University today announced a new strategic collaboration to educate families about the link between substance abuse and adolescent mental illness and to broaden shared resources on teen health.
By bringing together information about the need for early identification of mental illness from Columbia University's TeenScreen National Center, along with comprehensive resources on substance abuse addiction and treatment from The Partnership at Drugfree.org, the non-profits will work together to provide a broader spectrum of help and support for parents of teens.
Research has shown that untreated mental illness is a major risk factor for drug and alcohol abuse. Substance use disorders are associated with up to 6.2 times greater than average risk of suicide attempts, according to data from the National Comorbidity Survey. Adolescence offers an important period for intervention because 50 percent of all lifetime mental health disorders start by age 14, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Most young people with mental illness can be effectively treated and lead productive lives.
"Parents with a child who is abusing drugs or alcohol need to also be especially attuned to co-occurring mental health issues and seek an appropriate assessment," said Steve Pasierb, President of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. "TeenScreen National Center is a leading voice in the early identification of mental illness in youth and, working together, our organizations will reach more parents with resources that help them proactively address crucial health concerns in their families."
"We are pleased to be working with The Partnership at Drugfree.org, an organization that shares our commitment to youth," said Laurie Flynn, Executive Director, TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University.
"As we work to engage parents in our mission to support routine mental health checkups for teens, joining with an organization that can help educate parents about the link between mental illness and substance abuse will support these efforts. In turn, we will link their organization to our primary care, school and community audiences," Flynn added.
The Partnership at Drugfree.org and The TeenScreen National Center will co-host a webinar this spring for primary care providers, mental health professionals and informed parents, featuring an expert(s) from Columbia University. The nonprofits will also work to engage parents and caregivers through social media channels, and will explore opportunities to integrate content across several web properties to increase parental awareness and access to resources.
Roselena Martinez, Marketing and Communications Manager for The Partnership at Drugfree.org added, "This terrific partnership with The TeenScreen National Center strengthens our collective efforts in protecting the health of families. Teen behaviors and parenting co-exist together, not in a vacuum, and by empowering parents with the tools and resources they need to keep them healthy, we provide parents with a more complete understanding of their teen."
To learn more about The Partnership at Drugfree.org's resources on intervention and treatment please visit Time to Get Help at (http://timetogethelp.drugfree.org/).