Systemic Prevention Programs for children can help enhance the way they currently function and prevent later distress as well as be beneficial to the family and the community in which the children live. These types of preventive programs are shown to reduce the cost of mental health care. Systemic Prevention Programs can mean an improved quality of life as well as reduce illness and early death.
According to the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine in 2009, roughly 14 to 20 percent of children are diagnosed with an emotional, mental, or behavioral disorder. Children who are at risk for violence, substance abuse or other such issues would also be ideal candidates for Systemic Prevention Programs.
Focus on Wellness
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the U.S. National Prevention Strategy both ask society to add more preventive services in order to improve individual, family and community life. There is a general shift toward wellness and prevention, which Systemic Prevention Programs are designed to meet.
Prevention Can Mean Better Adulthood
Strong programs can reduce the ultimate cost to society as a whole as well as improve family situations. They must be:
- Appropriate to the developmental stage of the children
- Culturally in tune
Preventive services that are administered early and in a focused way can reduce the length and seriousness of abnormal functioning. Children can learn better coping strategies and problem-solving skills early in their lives, which can result in more positive and productive lives.
Benefits to Society
On a larger scale, Systemic Preventive Programs can address inequities in the areas of education and socio-economic standing if there are inconsistencies based on gender, racial or other group factors. They can also provide a bridge for families to work with their community and school system in order to improve the overall environment. Well-paying jobs, better social policy and more effective services may result.