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Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2006 Jul;11(3):417-30.

Intensive mental health services for children with serious emotional disturbances through a school-based, community-oriented program.

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  • 1Clinical Child Psychology Program, University of Kansas, Lawrence 66045, USA.


Treating children with severe, early onset emotional and behavioral disturbances remains a daunting task for mental health and education systems. This article describes key principles, features, and outcomes for the school-based Intensive Mental Health Program (IMHP), a program designed specifically to provide comprehensive evidence-based, ecologically sensitive, and individualized services for this difficult-to-treat population. Although the IMHP is a relatively new model, preliminary studies of outcomes and treatment processes give initial evidence that most children improve notably in their role performance, behavior, and emotional adjustment over the course of treatment. With increasing demands for effective, affordable school-based mental health services, the IMHP offers a developing but promising prototype for services geared to meet the unique needs of children with complex disturbances of emotions and behavior.

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