My lab's work is featured in the article "Youth Anxiety and What We Can Do About It" by Kristen Munson, published in the Summer 2022 issue of Utah State Magazine. This article also highlights the good work of our colleagues in the ACT Research Group here at USU.
In preparation for the article, Munson interviewed me about the youth mental health landscape—national, reigional, and local—both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We talked broadly about our lab's research efforts to improve mental health services in schools as well as the kinds of services we provide in local public schools. Most of our convsersation centered around school-based screening and prevention related to internalizing problems, as the article focuses on growing concerns related to youth anxiety.
I was pleased to see much of what we covered made it into the article. I especially appreciate the article highlighting the role of schools in promoting mental health equity. This quote, drawn from our interview, gets at that point:
“It doesn’t matter how much money your family has,” Renshaw explains. “It doesn’t matter whether you have insurance or how good your insurance is, you get the services for free if they’re at school. It also doesn’t matter if your parents are working two jobs. It doesn’t matter if you have a car that can get you to the clinic. It doesn’t matter if there is another responsible adult in your life who can coordinate and schedule and do all of those things for you because most kids come to school most of the time.”
That's the big idea driving our lab's work: schools should be hubs for community mental health services because they can offer more accessible and affordable services for more children and families. ▲