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"Identifying mental health risk factors and the inequities driving poorer health outcomes among youth are key..."

 

Kimberley Lee is on the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts' Board of Directors and is the Chief of Creative Strategy and Development at MiraVista Behavioral Health Center.

"Identifying mental health risk factors and the inequities driving poorer health outcomes among youth are key for providers to better deliver mental and behavioral health care to this population. The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts released a report in 2021 that highlighted the high rates of mental health risk factors and outcomes experienced by Springfield teens, particularly students of color, females, and students who identify as LGBTQ+. Access to such data about inequities helps those of us who deliver psychiatric and substance use care better serve those populations with a keener sense of culturally and linguistically appropriate and individualized health services. It is known that 50% of mental illness starts by age 14. We can help prevent such illness from becoming chronic if we can lower exposure to external factors contributing to it and intervene early with treatment."

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