THE TIME FOR YOUTH VOICE IS NOW!
We believe that all youth should have the following rights in their mental health care:
1) Youth have the right to be leaders of their psychiatric treatment plans.
Youth should be informed of the possible side effects of medications, how long recommended medications take to go into effect, and the possible long-term effects of recommended medication. Service providers should work with youth to explore possible alternatives to using psychiatric medication before medication is given. Communication between youth and all medical providers should be collaborative, clear, and with limited use of medical terminology.
2) Youth have the right to evaluate their mental health services.
Mental health counselors, social workers, psychologists, and other service providers should provide opportunities for youth to evaluate the satisfaction of their services throughout the duration of care in a respectful and non-threatening manner. This includes evaluation of the relationship with the provider, counseling plans, and implemented treatment models.
3) Youth have the right to service transitions that are as non invasive as possible.
When youth are transitioning into new services, mental health programs should strive to make the transition as accommodating as possible for the youth. Youth should be consulted on the ways they would like to end their relationship with the current provider and whether they would like the current provider to share their file with their new provider. Providers should share if there will be any changes in the costs of services and/or insurance coverage.
4) Youth have the right to trained, sensitive treatment providers.
Youth should have access to mental health professionals that are familiar with the unique needs and challenges of youth with mental health needs. All mental health professionals should have specialized training that fosters positive youth development and support. Youth mental health service consumers should be included in the creation and implementation of these trainings.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
This Bill of Rights was created at the 2009 Portland National Youth Summit, an event sponsered by the Portland State University's Research and Traning Center on Family Supports and Children's Mental Health. At this event, 30 mental health service experienced youth gathered in Portland, OR from the following states: California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.