#ScreenToInterveneForAYAs: Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health Blog


Welcome to the #ScreenToInterveneForAYAs Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health Blog!  Supported by the Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center,*  this is a space for state Title V maternal and child health professionals and their partners to learn about efforts to build better preventive care systems for optimal adolescent and young adult wellbeing across the country. As you navigate this site, you’ll see short posts that include food for thought, resources, reflections, and stories related to the work being done by Title V to support optimal emotional wellness among AYAs.  Please feel free to share your reactions, ideas, and feelings by tweeting us (@AMCHP_GrowingUp) and using the hashtag, #ScreenToInterveneForAYAs. 


If you’d like to submit a post, please contact Anna Corona (acorona@amchp.org) to have your writing featured!

Picture Placeholder: Anna Corona
  • Anna Corona
012/4/2019 8:59 AM

Since the onset of the national movement by Title V to combat infant mortality rates using a uniform learning collaborative, state Title V Maternal and Child Health programs have partaken in a number of collaborative improvement and innovation networks (CoIINs) supported by the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Based on the model from the Institute on Healthcare Improvement, CoIINs rely on real-time or reasonably current data and metrics to assess implementation strategies, or "tests of change." Since there is emphasis on rapid-cycle improvement activities, using "good-enough" data is essential, to identify progress and help accelerate solutions to challenges that affect the MCH eco-system. These methods have been typically successful in smaller, clinical, and more controlled settings. But how do these concepts translate when seeking to improve care on a more population-focused aim, and where more time is needed? And how can the MCH workforce and its partners adapt and respond with this approach when it comes to young people's mental health?

With the launch of the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA)-Behavioral Health CoIIN in 2019, AMCHP was tasked with developing the best way for state public health CoIIN teams  to measure their contributions to their unique state aims, as well as the overarching CoIIN Goal: Achieve an 80% screening rate of patients ages 12-25 for a major depressive episode using an age-appropriate standardized tool with documentation of a follow-up plan if the screen is positive. Following the CoIIN motto of "share seamlessly, steal shamelessly," the Adolescent and Young Adult Health-National Resource Center partners examined how other collaboratives measured macro-level improvements, using metric examples from the Infant Mortality CoIIN Social Determinants of Health learning network, as well as measures from the Promoting Innovation in State & Territorial MCH Policymaking (PRISM) initiative. From there, we adapted a measurement framework, originally created by AMCHP's Infant Mortality CoIIN team, Kay Johnson, and Milt Kotelchcuk, to determine where state teams were at baseline, and provide guidance on what levers to pull in order to see some sort of change within their system level opportunities to address depression screening and treatment referrals.  We landed on five main pillars:

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Each of the five components offers guidance and examples on practice and policies changes that intend to increase the capacity of Title V and its public health and community champions to address mental health screenings and referrals for AYAs. Eager to learn specifically what's involved under each of these measures? The blog will unpack each of these categories in upcoming posts, beginning in January 2020. 

12/4/2019 8:59 AMNo
Picture Placeholder: Anna Corona
  • Anna Corona
011/12/2019 4:12 PM

Last week, the American Public Health Association (APHA) hosted its 2019 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I had the wonderful privilege of attending as both a presenter and an attendee. Of the many interesting sessions, one in particular stood out as important for me to share with you all, titled, “Workforce Development: Mental Health Service Delivery by Non-Mental Health Professionals”.  This workshop featured four presentations that highlighted the potential of thinking “outside the box” when it comes to the development of the mental health provider workforce.  Each of the four presentations, briefly summarized below, highlighted strategic ways to bolster mental health providers and professionals: 

·    Physician Assistants as a crucial mental health service provider: presented by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), this talk underscored the value of including PAs in all mental health service delivery capacity-building efforts, as their most recent survey of this workforce indicated that approximately 62% of all  PAs are evaluating patients with psychiatric symptoms at least weekly. Check out NCCPA’s website to learn more about how they are promoting the role of PAs across disciplines in the management of mental health, mental illness, and substance use disorders

·    Community health workers (CHWs) as linkages to mental health care for Latino populations: presented by Kiera Coulter (University of Arizona), this talk discussed the findings of Coulter’s study, which explored the association between how a community health worker rates their clients health (or CHW-rated health) and the client’s depression symptomology.  They found that community health worker-rated mental health was significantly associated with depressive symptoms, and often, CHW-rated health was more predictive than client’s self-rated health.  The author described the immense potential for culturally competent CHWs to serve as linkages to mental health care for Latino populations given their strong rapport. 

·    Mental Health First Aid Training as a tool to reduce stigma: presented by Jessica Garcia (University of South Florida), this talk pointed to the effectiveness of the Mental Health First Aid Training as a tool to improve trainees understanding of mental health, and thus reduce personal stigmas. 

·    Collaboration between psychiatric and Primary care residents: presented by Nkema Esiobu (Yale School of Medicine), this talk highlighted an important mechanism for breaking down silos between primary and psychiatric care—beginning when providers are still being educated as residents.  Esiobu discussed a case study in which increased collaboration between psychiatric and primary care residents during their practice-based education could improve primary care provider competency in managing mental health concerns. 

To learn more about each of the presentations, view the abstracts submitted by each of the authors. Let us know your thoughts on these approaches to developing the mental and behavioral health workforce by tweeting us at @AMCHP_GrowingUp!


Our next regularly scheduled post falls on the Thanksgiving holiday, so we’ll be back early the week of December 2nd with a post-Turkey Day update. Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday!

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11/12/2019 4:12 PMNo
Picture Placeholder: Anna Corona
  • Anna Corona
010/30/2019 3:17 PM

During the 2019 Title V Federal-State Maternal & Child Health Partnership meeting, our very own Dr. Charles Irwin was awarded the Title V Lifetime Achievement Award from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).  This award recognizes outstanding contributions made to the field of maternal and child health over a sustained period.  Dr. Irwin earned this award as a result of his decades of contributions to improving the quality of preventive care for adolescents and young adults. He has served as the Director of the Adolescent & Young Adult Health National Resource Center since its inception in 2014 and is a distinguished professor of pediatrics at the University of California School of Medicine and the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.  Check out Dr. Irwin’s bio to learn more about the breadth of his contributions to this field and join us in congratulating him on this well-deserved recognition!

Stay tuned for our next blog post: AMCHP’s Child & Adolescent Health Team is headed to the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) 2019 Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA and we plan to share key adolescent and young adult behavioral health takeaways with you.  Follow us at @AMCHP_GrowingUp and let us know if you’ll be attending the APHA Annual Conference as well. 

Happy Halloween, Adolescent & Young Adult Health Champions!  

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Dr. Charles Irwin (center) receives MCHB’s Title V Lifetime Achievement Award and is joined by MCHB’s Associate Administrator, Dr. Michael Warren (left) and MCHB’s Deputy Associate Administer, Laura Kavanagh (right)

10/30/2019 3:17 PMNo
Picture Placeholder: Anna Corona
  • Anna Corona
010/15/2019 2:40 PM

For today's blog post, I'd like to highlight a very exciting pillar of the AYAH National Resource Center's programmatic work: the Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health Collaborative Improvement & Innovation Network. Yes, that's quite a long name; let's lovingly refer to this project as "the CoIIN" for the rest of this post.  We at AMCHP, in partnership with the National Improvement Partnership Network (NIPN), are thrilled to have the privilege of administering the CoIIN (for those that are unfamiliar: what is a CoIIN?) because it's a shining example of how state MCH programs are at the forefront of making sure the rubber does indeed meet the road in efforts to improve AYA well-being.  You can read the full announcement of the CoIIN project for more details, but here's the 30 second version:


  • Who's involved?  There are a total of five multi-disciplinary state teams participating in the CoIIN (Indiana, Minnesota, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Vermont).  AMCHP and NIPN serve as technical assistance supports to all five teams.
  • What are the state teams trying to achieve? They're working to increase the rate of major depressive episode screenings among patients aged 12-25 using an age-appropriate screening tool with documentation of a follow-up plan if the screen is positive.
  • What's the approach? Simply put, each state has two teams: a public health team and a clinical team. The clinical team will work directly towards improving screening rates in their settings using a quality improvement methodology, while the public health team will work on improving the systems that surround clinics in order to remove barriers to screenings for both providers and the families they serve.
  • Still curious?  Check out the official CoIIN announcement and/or contact Anna Corona (acorona@amchp.org) or Iliana White (iwhite@amchp.org).


We will be sure to sprinkle updates on this exciting CoIIN work throughout this blog over the next year.  Be on the lookout for guest writers, and if we have some brave souls—video updates! Let us know your thoughts below, or on Twitter by using the #ScreenToInterveneForAYAs and tagging us in your post @AMCHP_GrowingUp!  

10/15/2019 2:40 PMNo
Picture Placeholder: Anna Corona
  • Anna Corona
010/3/2019 9:52 AM

Greetings, and welcome to this blog! My name is Anna Corona and I work for the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs as the Program Manager for Child & Adolescent Health (AMCHP).  AMCHP is one of several partners that make up the Adolescent and Young Adult National Resource Center collaboration, which is led by the UCSF's National Adolescent Health Information Center.* 

This blog will be a place where you can come to peruse the latest happenings of the Center's work as well as the latest news and resources related to Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health.  Last, but certainly not least, we hope that this can be a space for Title V professionals and their partners to glean perspectives, insights, and ideas as they relate to the posts we share here (please let us know if you'd like to guest write for us! acorona@amchp.org).  With each blog post we invite you to respond via Twitter (@DC_AMCHP) with reactions, ideas, and questions.  We will plan to post a new entry approximately every two weeks, so keep an eye out for us!   

To kick us off, I'd like to pose a question to our readers:

What motivates you to dedicate your time and passion to supporting optimal emotional wellness among adolescents and young adults?

To jump start the discussion, I'll share AMCHP's motivations:  As an organization committed to the optimal health of women, children, adolescents, and families, the rising rates of major depressive episodes (MDEs) among adolescents (ages 12-17) and young adults (ages 18-25) is troubling. We understand the importance of co-creating environments for and with AYAs that support their emotional well-being to reverse this trend.  This co-creation approach is reflected in our most recent strategic plan, where AMCHP prioritizes youth-engaged work to transform the spaces where AYAs seek care, live, study, work, and play.   

Let us know your own motivations by tweeting us @DC_AMCHP and including the #ScreenToInterveneForAYAs hashtag.

*The Center is funded by a cooperative agreement with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and focuses on improving the health of adolescent and young adults (ages 10-25) by strengthening the capacity of state maternal and child health programs and their clinical partners to address the needs of those populations.

10/3/2019 9:52 AMNo

*The AYAH-NRC is funded by a cooperative agreement with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. The center's work focuses on improving the health of adolescent and young adults (ages 10-25) by strengthening the capacity of state maternal and child health programs and their clinical partners to address the needs of those populations. The AYAH-NRC collaboration is led by the National Adolescent and Young Adult Health Information Center at the University of California, San Francisco, in partnership with AMCHP, the University of Minnesota's State Adolescent Health Resource Center, and the University of Vermont National Improvement Partnership Network.