Steven Adelsheim, MD, discusses what he believes is the need to further recognize that many mental health conditions begin to develop at a young age.
Every year at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, clinicians, researchers, and other mental health professionals gather to discuss hot topics in the field.
While discussions take place regarding advances in the field, new research and a plethora of other topics, many of the side conversations are about under-researched areas in psychiatry. While Steven Adelsheim, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford Health Care, directed a session centered around early recognition of psychosis at the meeting, but sat down with MD Magazine® afterward to discuss what he feels is the area in greatest need of further research.
MD Mag: What areas have the greatest need for further research and knowledge in psychiatry today?
Adelsheim: Some of the greatest needs are really the recognition that these mental health conditions really start early. We talked about how half of all mental health conditions start by the age of 14, but we really don't have a public mental health system in this country to provide that support for people at that age. So, one of the really important programmatic needs is to create spaces for young people to come in to get earlier care in comfortable environments for them.
So, one of the things that we're really trying to do is look at this continuum of care really from school mental health to integrated youth mental health programs like Headspace programs in Australia, The Foundry program in British Columbia, the ALCOVE model we’re starting here in the States, to be able to create those spaces for young people and then also linking them to early psychosis programs as well. So, we have a full continuum of early intervention support that are comfortable environments for our young people to come in early for care.