Oregon Youth Authority – Mental Health & Addiction Gap 2010

Text below is from the Oregon Youth Authority 2010 Mental Health Gap Survey.

The Oregon Youth Authority has conducted the Mental Health Gap Survey every other year since 2000. Data are collected on all youth in OYA custody on April 1 of the survey year.

READ – Oregon Youth Authority Mental Health Gap 2010, Survey Results. (PDF)
READ – Oregon Youth Authority Mental Health Gap, survey results from 2008and 2006. Prior years are no longer available online.

The Mental Health Gap Survey allows the agency to make a comprehensive assessment of the mental health and other treatment services needed by youth in OYA custody. Survey results are analyzed to identify youth service gaps and to advocate for funding for important services during the budget process.

Typically, Juvenile Parole and Probation Officers complete the survey for OYA youth in the community, and treatment managers complete the survey for youth in OYA correctional facilities. Information for the survey is derived from youth assessments such as mental health, substance use, and other evaluations in the youth’s case file.

There are only a few changes from year to year in the survey, which makes it possible to look for trends in the results for many of the survey questions.

Highlights from the 2010 Survey – 2010 Snapshot

While many youth in OYA custody have troubled mental health and substance use histories, one pattern that emerged from the data was the high proportion of females in OYA close custody who were reported to have these issues. This population was frequently the most negatively affected group compared to OYA-supervised males in close custody, females in the community, and males in the community.

There is ample evidence that youth coming from dysfunctional homes are more likely to engage in criminal behaviors, and findings from the mental health gap survey corroborate this point. Survey questions relating to a youth’s biological parents showed that many OYA youth may have had exposure to significant mental health and substance abuse issues in their home environments. Furthermore, one in eight youth under OYA supervision already had a child of his or her own. This underscores the importance of effective interventions and services that enable OYA youth to address these issues.