Expanding the reach of psychosocial services for youth: Untapped potential of mentor-delivered single session interventions

Mackenzie J. Hart*, Jenna Y. Sung, Samuel D. McQuillin, Jessica L. Schleider

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

At present, the mental healthcare system cannot meet the demand for services, and the need-to-access gap is widest among children and adolescents. Single session interventions (SSIs) are brief, intentional, and mechanism-targeted programs that have shown promise in increasing the reach of effective, evidence-based services; yet, a wide gap still remains due to structural barriers (e.g., lack of awareness, workforce shortages). The present paper posits the integration of SSIs and mentor-delivered programs as a promising future step to further overcome the inaccessibility of youth mental health services. Capitalizing on the advantages of mentoring relationships (e.g., the associated interpersonal benefits and mentors' pre-existence in most community settings) has the potential to complement and enhance the value of SSIs, and to expand the acceptability and reach of evidence-based mental health services. In this paper, we discuss the anticipated benefits of mentor-delivered SSIs, as well as cautionary considerations related to the proposed model. To conclude, we highlight the necessary implementation and research implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1272
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • evidence-based practice
  • mental health
  • mentoring
  • single session interventions
  • task-shifting
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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