Project Title

Understanding Mental Health Diagnosis in Youth and Recognizing Alternative Frameworks and Treatments

Academic department under which the project should be listed

WCHHS - Social Work and Human Services

Faculty Sponsor Name

Hans Skott-Myhre

Additional Faculty

Darlene Rodriguez-Schaefer, Social Work & Human Services, drodri30@kennesaw.edu Nicholas Ellwanger, Honors College, nellwang@kennesaw.edu

no human subjects

Abstract (300 words maximum)

An individual’s mental health is an important factor for a fulfilling life as physical health, especially for children, whose future is greatly affected by how mental healthcare is administered to them. The research questions under exploration in the literature review focus on determining whether the current institutionalized methods of defining, diagnosing, and treating mental illness in youth are valid and effective. The research also addresses alternative methods that can be implemented for improving mental health in children, as well as determining the alternative frameworks through which to view and apply to those processes. Current models of diagnosis in the United States are analyzed, with an attempt to determine the issues that exist within the current system. The research focuses on the models used in psychology and psychiatry to diagnose individuals. Special attention is given to the question of whether the use of standardized and pharmaceutical-driven medication as treatment makes sense in the context of modern mental health and how it is currently interwoven with the diagnostic system. With an understanding of the basis of the existing framework, research of alternative frameworks of the diagnostic process will be described. These frameworks aim to establish mindsets of mental disorder treatment that address the limitations of the existing diagnosis processes. Alternative treatment options brought forth in research and methods to incorporate them into existing mental healthcare systems are also explored. These alternative frameworks and treatments are established to facilitate adequate and fair support for every child’s mental development, as well as to improve the state of mental healthcare for all individuals in society. The methodology used to analyze the literature is a discourse analysis to understand how the language, which is currently used by institutions and society alike, is problematic when it comes to diagnosing children with mental illnesses.

Project Type

Event

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Understanding Mental Health Diagnosis in Youth and Recognizing Alternative Frameworks and Treatments

An individual’s mental health is an important factor for a fulfilling life as physical health, especially for children, whose future is greatly affected by how mental healthcare is administered to them. The research questions under exploration in the literature review focus on determining whether the current institutionalized methods of defining, diagnosing, and treating mental illness in youth are valid and effective. The research also addresses alternative methods that can be implemented for improving mental health in children, as well as determining the alternative frameworks through which to view and apply to those processes. Current models of diagnosis in the United States are analyzed, with an attempt to determine the issues that exist within the current system. The research focuses on the models used in psychology and psychiatry to diagnose individuals. Special attention is given to the question of whether the use of standardized and pharmaceutical-driven medication as treatment makes sense in the context of modern mental health and how it is currently interwoven with the diagnostic system. With an understanding of the basis of the existing framework, research of alternative frameworks of the diagnostic process will be described. These frameworks aim to establish mindsets of mental disorder treatment that address the limitations of the existing diagnosis processes. Alternative treatment options brought forth in research and methods to incorporate them into existing mental healthcare systems are also explored. These alternative frameworks and treatments are established to facilitate adequate and fair support for every child’s mental development, as well as to improve the state of mental healthcare for all individuals in society. The methodology used to analyze the literature is a discourse analysis to understand how the language, which is currently used by institutions and society alike, is problematic when it comes to diagnosing children with mental illnesses.