Focus on Mental Health: Identifying Substance Abuse Among Mentally Ill Adolescents

The Institute for Mental Health Research is kicking off a new series of events — Focus on Mental Health — that have been created to share information with the public about mental health. The focus of these events will be on innovation and best practices in research and practice, and many of the events will feature scientists that IMHR has supported. Our goal is to help mental health service providers and others about how to better understand mental illness and treat those affected.

One such event took place yesterday at IMHR’s EpiCenter, an early psychosis intervention and research center that opened in downtown Phoenix last year.  You can read more about EpiCenter here.

The topic of yesterday’s  event was identifying substance abuse among mentally ill adolescents, an intricate and complex subject of concern to parents, educators, and teenagers alike. Teenagers dealing with taxing, scary, and in many cases, isolating, mental illnesses are significantly more likely to struggle with already prevalent substance abuse issues that cover the spectrum of drugs and alcohol. Stephanie Siete, an experienced Public Information Officer with Community Bridges, Inc. was an impressive keynote speaker. She offered new perspectives on how mental illness in youth is tied closely to substance abuse issues, as well as the ways in which these youth can be identified by those with intimate knowledge of them (e.g. parents), or those with more limited relationships (e.g. teachers, other adults).

We will be posting the highlights of her presentation in the weeks to come.  Please also watch for some important presentations and events in 2018 that will further inform your perspectives on critical issues in mental health.  We will be bringing outstanding mental health scientists and professionals to interact with curious and interested mental health professionals and share information about their research, advances in the field, and insights on compelling issues.

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