Older youth in foster care report high rates of mental health service use

A study of older youth (age 17) in California foster care consisted of 727 inperson interviews about their use of mental health services and preparedness to manage their mental health going forward. Over half of study participants (54 percent) reported using counseling in the past year and 29 percent reported using medications to help manage mental health. Those who had experienced physical or sexual abuse were more likely to have used counseling in the past year. Youth who did not identify as 100% heterosexual were also more likely to have used counseling than their peers. About 20 percent of all participants felt less than prepared to manage their mental health. This research shows that mental health service use continues to be high among foster care youth and that interventions may be beneficial to help these youth manage their mental health as they transition to adulthood. #mental health

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