Celebrating 90 Years of Innovation in Mental Health and Social Justice

Ortho was founded in 1924 by a small group of individuals with a shared interest in providing a common meeting ground for those engaged in the study and treatment of problems in human behavior. To reflect the interdisciplinary approach of the organization and their work, such as redirecting youth development in a positive direction, they combined the prefix "Ortho" (from the Greek "to straighten") with "psychiatry." Today, Ortho continues to attract professionals from psychology, psychiatry, social work, sociology, nursing, and law who are concerned about the application of mental health research to the creation of humane social policy, the improvement of mental health practice in a manner consistent with human rights, and the prevention of mental health problems.   

Ortho intensive workshop: "Ready for Change? Fostering Systems and Communities
Responsive to the Behavioral Health Needs of the Next America

March 22, 2015 in Tampa, FL-- register here

Remember the Sixties?  If not, 'ever heard of the Sixties?  Often described as a time of great social upheaval with dramatic shifts in education, economics, and social opportunities, it was the decade in which Baby Boomers came of age. Is it possible that the youth and young adults of today are experiencing even greater upheaval and change than the Baby Boomers?

Paul Taylor, Senior Fellow at the Pew Research Center, thinks so. In his book, The Next America, Taylor writes, “In the decades since Boomers first came bounding onto the national stage, no generation of young adults had made nearly as loud an entrance–until now. Meet the Millennials.” Indeed the gaps between the Boomers and the Millennials in trust, anxiety, religious affiliation, wealth, politics, optimism, education, race/ethnicity, marriage, and child-bearing are astounding. The degree to which the generations differ raises many questions relevant to mental health: When young people and their parents and grandparents have such markedly different attitudes and values, how are families and communities to bridge the generation gap?  What are the challenges for mental health professionals in working with teen and young adult clients?  With families?  In building community acceptance? ​These questions will be addressed by Taylor, whose eye-opening book has been featured on The Daily Show and who is this year's winner of the Blanche F. Ittleson Award, the American Orthopsychiatric Association's highest honor.

​Building on Taylor's observations, Gary Melton will argue that the current emphasis on evidence-based practice is a major obstacle to significant improvement in the average mental health of children, youth, and young adults and the well-being of their families.  The only four-time recipient of the American Psychological Association's prestigious Distinguished Contributions Award, Melton will contend that meaningful improvement will happen only when policymakers and practicing professionals work together to engineer a culture change. 

Mary Armstrong will build on the panel discussion by further exploring challenges to culture change in mental health. Armstrong will discuss what the implication of culture change are for the mental health system–including how funding is allocated, how professionals are trained, and the role of state agencies–and possible strategies for addressing those challenges. Armstrong is Director of the Division of State and Local Support in the Department of Child and Family Studies at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at University of South Florida and President of the American Orthopsychiatric Association.

The workshop will conclude with an examination of the need for an intergenerational community mental health system. Led by Jill McLeigh, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, this presentation will include a discussion on the challenges related to having separate child and adult systems, especially for young adults.

Policy News  

Get the latest news from Ortho's
Policy Committee!
  • Hearing on "Expanding Opportunity by Funding What Works: Using Evidence to Help Low-Income Individuals and Families Get Ahead"
  • Ortho signs on to letter supporting the Medical Evaluation Parity for Service Members Act
  • Introducing the Coalition on Public Safety: Well-known progressive and conservative organizations join forces to support criminal justice reform 
  • Ortho signs on to letter urging Congress to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Ortho signs on to letters recommending the elimination of the Medicare 190-day lifetime limit for inpatient psychiatric services  
  • GAO Report: HHS leadership must coordinate federal efforts related to serious mental illness
  • Ortho endorses a position statement that calls for ending the practice of automatic shackling of youth in juvenile courts 
  • Ortho adopts a position statement that calls for attention to the mental health needs of children experiencing homelessness 
  • Ortho signs on to letter recommending funding for behavioral health providers to afford electronic health records, to better coordinate patient care
  • Haruv International Conference on Child Maltreatment in Context: call for abstracts, due March 30, 2015
  • Ortho partners with the Campaign Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling
  • Click for details on news updates
Research Corner

What's Happening in Congress
  • Introduced: Mental Health First Act (S. 711)
  • Introduced: Mental Health in Schools Act  (H.R. 1211)
  • Introduced: Medical Evaluation Parity for Service members Act (S. 646)
  • Introduced: Protecting and Retaining Our Children's Health Insurance Program Act (S. 522)
  • Passed House: International Megan's Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking (H.R. 4573)
  • Passed House: Stop Exploitation through Trafficking Act (H.R. 159)
  • Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (S. 262)
  • Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Reauthorization and the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Act (H.R. 68)
  • EnactedPreventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R. 4980)
  • Click for details on legislative updates

Spotlight on AJO

Available now in AJO, Vol. 84 (6)

Health and Well-Being of LGBT Persons: Being out at school: Implications for school victimization and young adult adjustment  
Research shows that coming out as in high school is linked to positive adjustment in young adulthood. Read more here.

Other articles include: 

The Community, Inside the Beltway: Young adults in conflict: Confident but struggling, networked but disconnected

Care of People with Serious Mental Illness: Rethinking social inclusion: Experiences of persons in recovery from mental illness
Making Schools Humane for all Students: School-based service delivery for homeless students: Relevant laws and overcoming access barriers 
and more....

Coming Soon: Vol. 85 (1): 

Social Innovations: Teaching with Strengths in Trauma-Affected Students: A New Approach to Healing and Growth in the Classroom
Coping with Depression in a Cultural Context: Ethnic Identity, Perceived Support, and Depressive Symptoms Among Racial Minority Immigrant-Origin Adolescents
Adjustment of Children and Youth: Coping with War Trauma and Psychological Distress Among School-Age Palestinian Children

For subscription information, click here. Ortho members receive AJO as a member benefit.  

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