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Pediatric Group Details the Ways Integrated Care is Poised to Meet the Mental Health Crisis

June 22, 2022 – The Pediatrics Special Interest Group (PED SIG) at the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA) has issued a response to the growing awareness around the pediatric mental health crisis. The response, posted below, is part of an invitation to CFHA members to join the PED SIG in various efforts aimed at addressing access to care issues from the standpoint of integrated care.

From The PED SIG:

“The right care at the right time in the right place”

Pediatrician offices are often the place where families first go for advice on developmental and – behavioral concerns. In addition, pediatricians have longitudinal relationships with children that provide opportunities for understanding those concerns in context and remove the stigma associated with it.

Pediatric integrated care contributes to improve access to behavioral health care in the following ways:

  • Integrating behavioral health consultants and other roles such as care enhancers into pediatric teams, and building on the longitudinal and trusting relationships pediatricians have with families.
  • Promoting early identification of developmental and behavioral health concerns through universal surveillance and screening.
  • Enhancing the pediatrician’s ability to treat the whole child under a bio-psycho-social approach through interdisciplinary collaboration and education.
  • Providing timely access to behavioral health interventions in a “one stop shop”, without delays or referrals.
  • Making behavioral health interventions widely available to the highest number of children through population health approaches.
  • Tailoring evidenced-based interventions to a variety of presentations and acuity levels under a stepped care model.
  • Supporting parents in providing protective nurturing environments for children to thrive in from the time they are born, and with no stigma attached.
  • Assessing the needs of the family and offering additional supports to connect them with resources and social supports in the community.
  • Building collaborations, coordinating, and tracking services in the community.
  • Tracking patient progress and outcomes, triaging to higher levels of care as needed.

All this from an expert team of pediatricians, behavioral health consultants, and care enhancers working collaboratively to provide the right care at the right time in the right place. Join the PED SIG at CFHA today to join colleagues working on implementing the above and improving their skills as members of the modern care team. Pediatric primary care can be an essential component of solving the access issues in pediatric behavioral health care.