Youth services

The National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS) believes that making behavioral health for youth a priority is an investment in our children – and ultimately in our nation’s future.


Through the NAPHS Youth Services Committee, the association works to advocate for the resources necessary to serve this at-risk population.


Approximately 20% of children and adolescents (or about 11 million youth ages 9 to 17) have a diagnosable mental, emotional, or behavioral health disorder, from attention deficit disorder and depression to bipolar illness and schizophrenia. (Lewin)


According to published research, mental health disorders are “highly prevalent and persistent” in adolescents in the United States, and most adult disorders first present in childhood and adolescence. (Arch Gen Psych. Kessler et al. April 2012. 69(4):372-380.)


Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services policy letter clarifying that "IEPs for children with disabilities must be aligned with state academic content standards for the grade in which a child is enrolled”


Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) “Policy Guidance on Use of the Terms Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia in the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)”


Mental Health Liaison Group letter urging reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (with inclusion in the final conference package several provisions of the Every Child Achieves Act, S.1177, which support school-based mental health). 


Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, NIMH, SAMHSA Informational Bulletin: "Coverage of Early Intervention Services for First Episode Psychosis"


HHS/DOJ technical assistance: "Protecting the Rights of Parents and Prospective Parents with Disabilities: Technical Assistance for State and Local Child Welfare Agencies and Courts under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act"


CMCS Informational Bulletin: "Implementation of a 'Fast Track' Federal Review Process for Section 1115 Medicaid and CHIP Demonstration Extensions"


Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) letters in support of the  Children’s Recovery from Trauma Act of 2015 (S.1494 and H.R.2632)


CMS proposed rule: "Medicaid & Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Programs; Medicaid Managed Care, CHIP Delivered in Managed Care, Medicaid and CHIP Comprehensive Quality Strategies, and Revisions Related to Third Party Liability." Also see CMS fact sheet.


CMS proposed rule on "Mental Health Parity for Medicaid and CHIP." Also see CMS fact sheet.


Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS)/SAMHSA informational bulletin on “Coverage of Behavioral Health Services for Youth with Substance Use Disorders


CMS Transmittal 132: "New Additions to State Operating Manual (SOM), Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF) Chapter 2"


CMS Transmittal 131: "New to State Operations Manual (SOM), Appendix N- Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF) Interpretive Guidance"


Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Informational Bulletin: "Delivery Opportunities for Individuals with a Substance Use Disorder" (offering help to states interested in transforming care delivery systems). Part of the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP).


CMCS Informational Bulletin: "Clarification of Medicaid Coverage of Services to Children with Autism"


CMS Center for Medicaid & CHIP Services: "Medicaid and CHIP FAQs: Implementing Hospital Presumptive Eligibility Programs"


NAPHS comment letter responding to Senate Finance Committee open letter seeking input on how to improve the US mental health system


U.S. Department of Education Dear Colleague letter and enclosure on "Effective Evidence-based Practices for Preventing and Addressing Bullying."  Also see DOE blog on Keeping Students with Disabilities Safe from Bullying.


HHS guidance letter to states regarding children and families who have experienced severe trauma (encouraging the integrated use of trauma-focused screening, functional assessments, and evidence-based best practices to improve children’s well-being)


CMS memo to State Survey Agency Directors: "Provision of Inpatient Psychiatric Services to Individuals Under the Age of 21 (psych under 21 benefit) in Out-of-State Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs)"


CDC MMWR Supplement: "Mental Health Surveillance Among Children--United States, 2005-2011."  Also see a press kit with background on children's mental health.


CMCS / SAMHSA Informational Bulletin to states: "Coverage of Behavioral Health Services for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Significant Mental Health Conditions"


CMS issues informational bulletin on EPSDT


Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) letter to President Obama: Recommendations for "reducing violence and accessing effective mental health care"


NAPHS statement: "NAPHS applauds commitment by President Obama to issue final parity rules"


President Obama issues a plan to reduce gun violence and takes executive actions committing to (among other things) issuing a final parity rule, Medicaid guidance on parity, and guidance on essential health benefits and parity requirements within Affordable Care Act exchanges. Also see a letter to healthcare providers.


Center for Medicaid & CHIP Services Informational Bulletin: "Coverage and Service Design Opportunities for Individuals with Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders"


CMS' Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Informational Bulletin (guidance on the mechanisms states may use to reimburse the cost of medical care for children residing in psychiatric hospitals or PRTFs)


GAO Letter Report: "Foster Children: HHS Guidance Could Help States Improve Oversight of Psychotropic Prescriptions" (GAO-12-201) [View]


Department of Education: List of Correspondence [View]


NAPHS comment letter: Accreditation Requirements for Providers of Inpatient Psychiatric Services for Individuals Under Age 21 [View]


American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: Principles of Care for Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Mental Illnesses in Residential Treatment Centers [View]


Federal Register: Medicare program proposed rule, including "...[Medicaid] accreditation requirements for providers of inpatient psychiatric services for individuals under age 21" (large file--please allow time for file to open) [View]


NAPHS Issue Brief: Youth Programs and H.R.911 [View]


"Medicaid Program: Rescission of School-Based Administration/Transportation Final Rule, Outpatient Hospital Services Final Rule, and Partial Rescission of Case Management Interim Final Rule" [CMS–2287–F2; CMS–2213–F2; CMS 2237–F]. Also "Medicaid Program; Health Care-Related Taxes" Final Rule [CMS-2275-F2].


New publication: Characteristics of Residential Treatment for Children and Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbances. A report from Abt Associates prepared for the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS) and the National Association for Children's Behavioral Health (NACBH). [View]


NAPHS teams with the National Association for Children's Behavioral Health to tell Congress that Medicaid dollars spent on children & youth with emotional and substance use disorders pay long-term dividends. The two associations also have released Principles for Treatment of Children and Youth with Emotional and Substance Use Disorders, which include recommended action steps for Congress and the states.

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Characteristics of Residential Treatment for Children and Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbances. A report from Abt Associates prepared for the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS) and the National Association for Children's Behavioral Health (NACBH).


Survey on Education Services in Residential Placements 


NACBH / NAPHS Collaboration: MEDICAID: Principles for Treatment of Children and Youth with Emotional and Substance Use Disorders (2006). By NAPHS and NACBH. 


Enhancing Youth Services. (Report by the Lewin Group).