Addressses Mental Health Concerns in Primary Care brings together a myriad of ready-to-use resources and tools on one instant-access CD-ROM. Look here for screening and assessment instruments, quick-reference care management advice, step-by-step care plans, time-saving documentation and referral tools, coding aids, billing and payment tips, parent handouts, community resource guides, and much more.
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Integration of Behavioral Health Into Primary Care Settings
- Cross-sector training on topics such as behavioral health, social and emotional development, and trauma
- Use of developmental and social–emotional screenings in primary care settings
- Use of an infant/early childhood mental health specialist in primary care settings at various levels (e.g., co-location, collaboration, integration)
- Referrals, follow-up, and care coordination with community-based services
- Parenting support and health promotion activities
Pediatric primary care providers (PCPs) play a critical role in supporting wellness in young children. A pediatrician or family physician is often the first person with whom a parent shares concerns or asks questions related to mental health. Early detection of developmental, social–emotional, and behavioral issues, as well as the provision of appropriate supports, is critical to children’s success in school and life. Integration of behavioral health into primary care settings is one of Project LAUNCH’s five core prevention and promotion strategies.
The infusion of mental health supports into primary care can be implemented at various levels of intensity. This continuum ranges from coordination of care for children and families, to co-location of mental health with primary care services, to an integrated approach that involves strategies such as embedding a mental health consultant into pediatric practices, developing shared treatment plans across physicians and mental health consultants, and implementing shared data systems that integrate behavioral and medical electronic health records.
Project LAUNCH grantees have embedded early childhood mental health clinicians into pediatric medical settings to promote family-centered, relationship-based services.
Cross-disciplinary teams work together to assess, support, and follow families with infants and children who are identified by providers as showing early signs of social and emotional difficulties or are experiencing risk factors known to lead to poor social and emotional development outcomes. Other efforts include providing parenting support and family strengthening services within the primary care setting (e.g., the use of Triple P [Positive Parenting Program] or Incredible Years).
Screening children for developmental and social–emotional issues using standardized tools is a core aspect of integration. Project LAUNCH grantees ensure that PCPs use social–emotional screening tools to identify children or families with elevated risk so that further assessment can be conducted by on-site mental health clinicians. If needed, a PCP can provide a “warm handoff” to a mental health clinician or family partner to ensure the family accesses appropriate services. In addition, primary care providers can screen and support the family as a whole on a range of mental health issues, such as parental depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, and other areas that can have a negative effect on a child’s optimal growth and development.
Project LAUNCH supports workforce development activities to build the capacities of PCPs in social–emotional development, behavioral health, and trauma-informed care. Cross-sector professional development (e.g., training mental health consultants and PCPs together) helps build partnerships across systems as well as a common core of knowledge among providers who work with young children and their families. Other workforce development approaches include embedding infant and early childhood mental health training into continuing education requirements for pediatric PCPs.
- Numerous Project LAUNCH grantee sites use “family navigators” or “health navigators” embedded within pediatric primary care practices. In Weld County, Colorado, Project LAUNCH has funded navigators to help families access services across several systems including: housing; economics; family support needs; family service needs; parenting skills; and children’s developmental, social–emotional, educational, and other needs.
- Project LAUNCH New Hampshire has funded the Manchester Community Health Center to employ bilingual health workers as community liaisons to support care coordination, referrals, and community linkages.
- North Carolina Project LAUNCH has integrated an early childhood mental health team, comprising a mental health professional and a family-centered health navigator, into two private pediatric primary care practices. Members of the early childhood mental health team, along with other community-based providers (i.e., the Family Resource Center, the local health department, and the local school district), have been trained in Triple P. Families can receive Triple P assistance in many places they regularly visit, thus creating environments that foster children’s ability to reach their full potential.
- Massachusetts Project LAUNCH was successful in integrating early childhood mental health services in pediatric primary care by creating a unique partnership within the pediatric medical home. The partnership consists of a “family colleague” (a trained parent who works directly with families to navigate health care systems) and an early childhood mental health clinician. Massachusetts Project LAUNCH also created a resource-rich guide called the Early Childhood Mental Health Toolkit: Integrating Mental Health Services Into the Pediatric Medical Home. The toolkit is intended for use by primary care practices with or without mental health staff.
- Project LAUNCH in Wisconsin has helped raise awareness about the importance of children’s social–emotional development as part of their overall wellness. Recognizing the shortage of child psychiatrists, the Wisconsin legislature has allocated funding to develop a Child Psychiatric Consultation Line for pediatric and primary care physicians, which offers support to pediatric and primary care physicians for providing mental health care to patients.
- Pokegon, a tribe from the Project LAUNCH Bodewadmi Consortium, has co-located mental health and primary care services. Providers are working to make sure referrals are completed with “warm” handoffs, ensuring that families successfully access resources and services.
Discusses how (1) pediatric primary care clinicians will play an increasingly important role in promoting the social-emotional health of children and providing treatment—or serving as an entry point to specialty treatment—for children and adolescents who have mental health and substance abuse problems and (2) the growth in this role will involve transformational changes in pediatric primary care practice, requiring new knowledge and skills, payment structures, collaborative relationships, office systems, and resources.
Proposes competencies requisite for providing mental health and substance abuse services in pediatric primary care settings and recommends steps toward achieving them.
Houses a collection of materials created for the health care professional working with military families with very young children who may be experiencing significant deployment related challenges. These challenges can affect the health and wellbeing of the children in the health professional’s care. These resources help health care professionals to determine what a family’s needs are, and resources to provide to families coping with deployment, reunification, injury, or the loss of a parent.
Captures the substantive content that evolved from the two Research and Resilience workgroup meetings, including discussion points, identified research tools and measures, funding considerations, ethical considerations in conducting research, and exploration of appropriate research methodologies. This document serves not only as a resource of current research and practice but also as a call to action among researchers to address gaps and promote research that addresses the identified key issues.
Provides an introduction to and list of resources intended to enhance the ability of health care professionals to care for military families, as well as to share additional resources in a manner that hopefully will be easily integrated into their daily practice.
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