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Recognizing clients' mental health needs: a necessary condition of best practices.

This issue includes six articles on best practices with a variety of client concerns. The common theme tends toward recognizing the needs of clients. The lead article by Jaggers and MacNeil examines depression in Hispanic adults who immigrated while youngsters. Needless to say, with the executive order granting legal status for about 4,000,000 persons (known as deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and its subsequent legal challenge, this article is very timely. Infant mental health needs is the focus of the second article. Childhood mental health is particularly challenging due to limited communication skills, making mental health promotion all the more imperative. Gerstein, Crespi, and Johnson address mental health promotion in a fine piece on parenting practice.

The third article, by Miller, Li, and Kabell, addresses using the adolescent version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory to recognize the emotional restrictions of secondary students. The fourth article, by Sensiba and Franklin, is a practical review of family interventions for combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This article is timely as our current armed conflicts wind down and as we further our understanding that PTSD is as much a family problem as that of the individual warrior. The piece should be particularly useful to any clinician working with the military and military families.

The fifth article examines the needs of people with developmental disabilities in the criminal justice system, whereas the sixth article considers homeless people at risk of substance abuse. A commonality of both pieces is the social environment of large urban settings, which generally makes working with mental health clients more challenging.

Our first book review assesses Thomas O'Hare's second edition of Evidence-Based Practices, and although the title includes "for social workers" it would be professionally parochial to limit the use of this book by other providers. The second review evaluates Edward Taylor's book on persons with serious mental illness using a bioecological perspective. The review, written by Phyllis Solomon, a renowned scholar in serious and persistent mental illness, illustrates a simple fact of publishing, that not all books cut the grade. Although her review is critical, it includes astute observations.

Finally our website citations relate to immigration and mental health. We selected this topic as a complement to the lead article by Jaggers and MacNeil. Because immigration is such a polarizing topic across the country we have included sites to be avoided. A simple Google search results in hundreds of websites, and some contain more propaganda than honest and forthright commentary. Therefore, we don't mind saying "don't bother." In general, if the website is a dot-gov, it tends to be objective, whereas many dot-orgs are simply full of hate.

Vikki L. Vandiver, MSW, DrPH, is dean and professor, School of Social Work, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. Kevin Corcoran, MSW, PhD, JD, is professor, School of Social Work, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

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Author:Vandiver, Vikki L.; Corcoran, Kevin
Publication:Best Practices in Mental Health
Date:Sep 22, 2015
Previous Article:Website review: social determinants of health.
Next Article:Depression in Hispanic adults who immigrated as youth: results from the National Latino and Asian American study.

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