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Behavioral Vaccines and Evidence-Based Kernels: Nonpharmaceutical Approaches for the Prevention of M

The Institute of Medicine Report on the Prevention of Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People (IOM Report) provides a powerful map for how the United States might significantly prevent mental illnesses and behavioral disorders like alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among America’s youth. This document is already shaping United States policies, and will almost certainly affect Canada and other countries’ policies. Mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders (MEBs) among America’s youth and young adults present a serious threat to the country’s national security  and to our economic competitiveness compared with 22 other rich countries. Such MEBs are also the leading preventable cost center for local, state, and the federal governments. Further, safe schools, healthy working environments, and public events or places are seriously compromised by MEBs as well.

Relevance to PAXIS’ Work: This paper lays out PAXIS’ thinking on how different public-health approaches to universal access to prevention of major mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.  Prevention in America unlike mother rich-democracies has become a “treatment lite” model, basically waiting until children, youth and adults already have significant “symptoms” that are then screened for and referred to treatment or intervention. That is the equivalent of waiting until a child shows symptoms of polio before giving a protective vaccine.