Research Colloquium with Genevieve Graaf: Medicaid-Expansion and Home and Community-Based Care for Youth with Complex Behavioral Healthcare Needs

Colloquium | November 16 | 12:10-1:30 p.m. | Haviland Hall, Commoms

 Social Welfare, School of

Though one in ten of all children and adolescents have complex behavioral health care needs, many are prevented from accessing the level of mental health care they need due to financial or insurance-related barriers. In this study, mixed methods are used to examine relationships between public mental health funding and health coverage, and unmet mental health needs for these youths and their families. Interviews with mental health policy administrators from over 30 states reveal key strategies states use to fund community-based mental health services for youth who are not financially eligible for Medicaid. Using national data, multi-level regression analysis examines the relationship between a state’s policy approach to funding home and community based care for these youths and the odds of a youth having unmet mental health care needs due to cost-related concerns.

Genevieve Graaf is a doctoral candidate in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. Extensive practice in home and community-based mental health services for youth informs her interest in children’s behavioral health policy and services research. Situated at the intersection of behavioral health, healthcare policy, and youth and family services, her research examines how policy and organizational environments—particularly state Medicaid and mental health policies—facilitate or constrain community-based mental health treatment access and quality for youth with serious emotional or behavioral challenges and their families.

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