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OJJDP Bulletin Examines Perceived Barriers to Mental Health Services Among Detained Youth

September 22, 2015

PerceivedBarriers OJJDP has released "Perceived Barriers to Mental Health Services Among Detained Youth." The bulletin is part of OJJDP's Beyond Detention series, which examines the findings of the Northwestern Juvenile Project-a large-scale longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL. The authors examined youth's perceptions of barriers to mental health services, focusing on youth with alcohol, drug, and mental health disorders. Key findings include:

  • Most frequently, youth did not receive services because they believed their problems would go away without outside help.
  • Nearly one-third of youth were not sure whom to contact or where to get help.
  • Nearly one-fifth of the sample reported difficulty in obtaining help.
  • African American and Hispanic detainees received significantly fewer services in the past compared with non-Hispanic white youth. Male detainees also received significantly fewer services in the past when compared with female detainees.


Bulletins from OJJDP's Beyond Detention series are now available in EPUB and MOBI formats.

Learn more about the Northwestern Juvenile Project, cosponsored by OJJDP.

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