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Document will help people who provide Behavioral Health Services to Children and Youth in Tennessee

Thursday, March 14, 2013 | 06:19am

NASHVILLE – The state has recently completed a revision of “Behavioral Health Guidelines for Children and Adolescents from Birth to 17 Years of Age,” an extensive 500-page document that will provide relevant information and education for professionals who deliver behavioral health services to children and adolescents who range in age from birth to 17.

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) spent many months leading a broad array of more than 100 stakeholders from across the state to work on the document, which was last revised in 2008. This extensive report – which has been be posted online at – is a key educational tool that will help inform and educate child-serving professionals in the state, promoting high-quality behavioral health care aligned with evidence-based practices.

“This Best Practice Guide is a great reference document for all people who provide mental health and substance abuse services for children and families in our state,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner E. Douglas Varney. “I especially want to thank Dr. Edwina Chappell and the more than 100 stakeholders who were involved in producing this report for their tireless effort and continued support throughout this process. This truly will be an invaluable resource.”

Among the topics included in the 500-page report are:

  • Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Psychosocial versus Pharmacological Treatments
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual Behavior Problems
  • Substance Abuse and Co-occurring Disorders

The document also contains a list of TDMHSAS programs that serve children, adolescents, youth, and their families. These include substance abuse prevention and treatment services, housing and homeless services, mobile crisis services, respite services, suicide prevention services, and more. There are also a number of screening tools and assessment resources that are available for quick and easy download.

If you have any questions about this report, please contact Edwina Chappell, Ph.D., who led the months-long effort to update this document, at

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