Monday, August 26, 2013

American Psychiatric Foundation Program Featured in National TV Report

The NBC-TV news show “The Daily Nightly” featured a report last night about the American Psychiatric Foundation’s (APF) innovative program for identifying mental illness in teens. Earlier this year, The Miami-Dade County school system in Florida adopted the APF program “Typical or Troubled” to train school personnel to identify signs of mental illness among middle-school and high-school students in the district. And last night NBC reporter Mark Potter delivered a  report about the program and its adoption by Miami-Dade schools; the report aired five days after a man in Decatur, Ga., reported to have a history of mental illness, began firing shots at an elementary school; that man was apprehended by police before anyone was hurt.

The “Typical or Troubled” program has been used in more than 900 schools to train teachers, coaches, administrators, and other school personnel to identify signs of mental illness, to distinguish them from more “typical” behavior of teenagers, and to refer youth who appear to be at risk to mental health professionals. In the Miami-Dade County schools, the program is being offered in Spanish, English, and a Haitian-Creole translation. During the report, Miami-Dade County School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho described the reason for adopting the APF program: “Less metal detection and more mental detection, done in a respectful, reasonable, and well-researched way.”

APF Executive Director Paul Burke told Psychiatric News that the foundation is delighted with NBC's report and that it will further publicize what has already been a successful outreach program. “The NBC News story captures our successful partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools,” he said. “Through this partnership, 'Typical or Troubled' serves a very large and diverse school community, one that is 65 percent Hispanic. When teens with mental health problems get support and treatment, they have a better chance of doing well at home, in school, and in the future.”

Judge Steven Leifman, a judge with the Miami-Dade County Court Criminal Division and a member of the APF Board, was also featured in the report. “The earlier we identify children with mental health issues, the sooner we can get them to treatment, recovery, and leading full lives, while the chances of them getting into trouble later on greatly diminishes,” he told Psychiatric News.

To learn more about "Typical or Troubled," see the Psychiatric News article Miami-Dade Schools Adopt Foundation’s ‘Typical or Troubled?’ Program.

(Image: Kamira/


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