Want to improve children’s mental health? Integrate care
Taking care of the mental and behavioral health of young people was important before the pandemic and it has become even more critical due to the hardships and uncertainty that so many people have experienced over the past year.
With nowhere near the number of trained child psychiatrists needed to meet existing demands for behavioral health, Integrating Behavioral Health (BHI) is one way to reach adolescents and children in need.
During a recent BHI collaborative webinar hosted by WADA, two child and adolescent psychiatrists and a pediatrician shared stories about integrating care to better provide comprehensive and comprehensive care to their patients. They also discussed how they overcame some hurdles and outlined the payment issues that need to be addressed to make collaborative care even more achievable and sustainable.
“It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Once you’ve tried this and integrated mental health, no one wants to go back to a silo, ”pediatrician Christoph Diasio, MD, of Southern Pines, NC, told the BHI Collaborative webinar.
His practice, Sandhills Pediatrics, began integrating behavioral health in 2013 when a child psychiatrist moving to town contacted him. Their integrated team has only grown since then, adding a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a psychologist with a doctorate, three licensed professional counselors and an individual with a master’s degree in education. The majority of the practice’s patients are insured by Medicaid.
To help physicians practice so that they are able to treat the whole patient, WADA created the BHI Collaborative with seven other leading medical associations. The collaboration helps physicians overcome barriers to integrating behavioral and mental health care into primary care practices to help reach more patients.
The goal is for the patient to receive mental health care within the primary care office, whether from a psychiatrist, another mental health professional, or a combination in a team care approach. . This webinar was part of the Overcoming Collaborative Barriers webinar series.
It’s about saving, improving lives
Cleveland Clinic Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Tatiana Falcone, MD, MPH, explained to webinar viewers their successes in implementing routine screening for psychiatric comorbidities in the epilepsy unit. pediatric and outpatient with pediatric epilepsy.
Suicide represents death rates up to five times higher in patients with epilepsy compared to the general population, similar to what is seen in other patients with chronic diseases. Over a three-year period, Dr Falcone and his colleagues worked with nine pediatric practices to improve their knowledge of the care of pediatric patients with mental health issues and provide them with resources to help care for children whose screening is positive for depression or other behavioral health problems.
A brief selection takes about 20 seconds, a security assessment takes about 10 minutes, and a full security assessment takes about 30 minutes. Of the 400 patients aged 9 to 18 screened by pediatricians, their study showed that 26.5% were positive for suicidal ideation or behavior, 13 patients were referred to the emergency room and 13 probable suicides were avoided, a said Dr Falcone.
She says it is impossible for her to see all the patients and that there may be a three-month wait before seeing a child psychiatrist. Other people who ask questions at the right time can connect those who need help more quickly with the right resources, and it is important that patients leave the office with hope and know that medications and therapy are available. available.
“Testing is feasible and can save lives,” she said. “The more we worked together collaboratively, the more we realized that the effect we can have is much greater.”
The BHI Compendium provides a unique online collection of resources from eight national physician organizations designed to help you on your integrated healthcare journey, no matter where you are on the journey.