Cost assessment of a school-based mental health screening and treatment program in New York City

Pinka Chatterji, Christine M. Caffray, Maura Crowe, Linda Freeman, Peter Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although school-based mental health screening and treatment programs have been proposed as a viable means of reaching youth with unmet mental health needs, no previous reports have attempted to comprehensively document the costs of such programs. The purposes of this report are (1) to estimate the cost of a school-based mental health screening and treatment program in a real-world school setting, and (2) to outline the methods and procedures that should be employed by future investigators to explore the costs of such programs. The program, located in a middle school in a low-income, largely Hispanic neighborhood in New York City, aimed to screen all students in Grades 6-8 for anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders. Most students in need of treatment were referred to the school-based treatment program, where social workers offered individual and group counseling. Economic evaluation methods and a before/after study design were used to assess the costs of the screening and treatment programs for 3 years of operation. Costs were estimated from the societal perspective, which includes all measurable program costs regardless of who bears the costs, and the school perspective, which includes only costs that would be borne directly by a school operating these programs. Data primarily came from administrative records and staff interviews. The total cost ranged from $106,125 to $172,018 for the screening program and from $420,077 to $468,320 for the treatment program. The cost of the screening program ranged from $149 to $234 per student and the cost of the treatment program ranged from $90 to $115 per session. These costs were estimated from the perspective of society. Applying economic cost analysis methods in a real-world school setting is challenging, but the process can generate useful estimates. Cost analyses and cost-effectiveness studies are needed in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
JournalMental Health Services Research
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Mental Health
Costs and Cost Analysis
Therapeutics
Students
Health Care Costs
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Hispanic Americans
Substance-Related Disorders
Counseling
Anxiety
Economics
Research Personnel
Interviews
Depression

Keywords

  • Cost analysis
  • Costs
  • Economic evaluation
  • Mental health
  • School-based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

Cite this

Cost assessment of a school-based mental health screening and treatment program in New York City. / Chatterji, Pinka; Caffray, Christine M.; Crowe, Maura; Freeman, Linda; Jensen, Peter.

In: Mental Health Services Research, Vol. 6, No. 3, 09.2004, p. 155-166.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chatterji, Pinka ; Caffray, Christine M. ; Crowe, Maura ; Freeman, Linda ; Jensen, Peter. / Cost assessment of a school-based mental health screening and treatment program in New York City. In: Mental Health Services Research. 2004 ; Vol. 6, No. 3. pp. 155-166.
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