MST Services

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Bringing Colleagues Together to Transform the Lives of Youth and Families

Posted by MST Services

MST Network Partner Virtual Conference March 2022Each year, MST Services’ Network Partner Conference (NPC), a professional development opportunity, is hosted for all Network Partner Directors, MST Experts, and Network Partner Program Developers around the world. This year, the first of two conferences was held virtually and offered a variety of workshops to help strengthen professionals’ knowledge and skills in the areas of MST case conceptualization, addressing conflict and violence in the home between intimate partners, working with marginalized populations, and supporting at-risk youth – while connecting with a global network of MST colleagues.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST Community, COVID-19

How Large is Social Media’s Impact on Juveniles’ Day-to-Day Lives?

Posted by MST Services

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During the school year, Sabine Polak received a call from the guidance counselor regarding her 14-year-old daughter. In addition to being depressed, her daughter had contemplated suicide. Sabine brought her daughter to a crisis center to address her pressing mental health concerns and soon found out that her daughter's intense anxiety was caused by social media. The main reason for her stress was waiting for her friends to respond on Snapchat.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Troubled Youth, Mental Health, COVID-19

Why Expanding Youth Mental Health Services is Imperative

Posted by MST Services

Youth Mental Health Services

Mental health concerns are rising in all areas of the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, youth services experienced short staffing levels, too many referrals, and increasing amounts of adolescents with severe psychological issues. By expanding youth mental health services, more disabilities can be detected and treated early, which reduces the risk of adverse mental health conditions worsening in the future.

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Topics: Mental Health

Does Too Much Screen Time Lead To Antisocial Behavior in Youth?

Posted by MST Services

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Many of us have a love-hate relationship with technology. We have technology at the tip of our fingers; whether it is through a smartwatch, phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, or TV - screens are available everywhere. One survey explains that 95 percent of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45 percent are online almost constantly. While there are many advantages to tech, young brains are also subject to serious side effects.

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Topics: Troubled Youth

LGBTQ+ Teens and the Child Welfare System

Posted by MST Services

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The child welfare system is set up to protect and serve youth who are separated by their legal guardians due to the inability to provide safety, nurturement, or stability. Yet, some adolescents who identify as LGBTQ+ are rejected, neglected, or abused by their family members, forcing them to enter the system. Many of these young people will continue deeper into the system due to disrupted placements, ultimately increasing the risks of childhood trauma.

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Topics: Child Welfare

How Vaping Contributes to Youth Substance Abuse

Posted by MST Services

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Vaping, the new way to smoke, is becoming increasingly popular among teens. It may be hard to believe, but electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were first introduced in 2007 and have since become a public health epidemic, contributing to youth substance abuse. The Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, stated that “The recent surge in e-cigarette use among youth, which has been fueled by new types of e-cigarettes that have recently entered the market, is a cause for great concern. We must take action now to protect the health of our nation’s young people.”

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Topics: Substance Abuse, Troubled Youth

Multisystemic Therapy: A Year in Review

Posted by MST Services

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Youth, families, and communities have overcome many challenges and achieved numerous victories since the beginning of this year and, during this time, the Child Protection, Juvenile Justice, and Mental Health systems have made strides in raising awareness of the needs of adolescents and their families. So, as we pause to look back on 2021, we would like to say thank you to the families, therapists, supervisors, agencies, and external stakeholders who made all of this possible. Join us as we highlight some of the work that the Multisystemic Therapy (MST) community has accomplished.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST Community

What Is the Family First Act?

Posted by MST Services

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From 2012 onwards, the number of American children entering foster care has been steadily climbing; in 2016, over 430,000 children were part of the child welfare system, yet over half of U.S. states have seen their foster care capacity decrease during this same time period. The federal government has typically responded to child welfare challenges by increasing funding for foster care, yet in February of 2018, policymakers took a different approach: instead of lending more resources to the system in the historical way, new legislation is focused on the use of evidence-based prevention services to alleviate the need for adolescents to enter out-of-home placements in the first place, and ensuring appropriate settings are used for kids who are in foster care when necessary.

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Topics: Child Welfare

Diving Deeper into Youth Crime Statistics

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_404112505In light of Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM), established in 2008 to draw attention to adolescents impacted by the criminal justice system, it is time to address America’s youth crime statistics.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Multisystemic Therapy

The Child Welfare System and Unstable Education

Posted by MST Services

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A Comfortless Reality

At just one year old, Noel Anaya was separated from his parents and removed from his house in California. Though he was too young to remember leaving his first home, he remembers all the ones that came after— Noel moved through foster placement after foster placement, put in four different families by the time he was eight. Soon, he was sent outside of California, first to Michigan and then to Idaho. “Some foster families were religious and encouraged me to participate in their traditions, which felt strange,” Noel remembers. “I moved around so much, I never felt like I fit in.” Noel’s experience of constant movement, adjustment, and loneliness isn’t merely his own— for many foster children across the country, impermanence is a comfortless reality. And what is one of the most critical, long-term effects of these constant new foster placements? A child’s ability to succeed in school.

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Topics: Child Welfare