Depression. Suicide. Self-harm. Drugs. American youth are not okay. In addition, our healthcare system is woefully unprepared to tackle this issue. What are the barriers facing our kids from accessing mental health? Why hasn’t something been done already? And most importantly, what are the solutions?
While experts widely agree that there is a shortage of trained child and adolescent mental health providers, the obvious solution – encourage more medical students to pursue adolescent psychiatry – is years away from realization. So the problem remains year after year. But what grassroots initiatives can we implement now with the resources currently available?
Dr. Mease and Dr. Goldberg discuss three realistic community-level initiatives that can be easily implemented:
- Telemedicine: This has greatly increased with the COVID pandemic and has been one of the positive trends to come out of this unprecedented situation. This needs to continue and expand into the mental health field.
- Integration: Utilize child/adolescent psychiatrists as consultants to pediatric primary care clinics to help with patients’ behavioral/mental health.
- Collaboration at the local level: Cast the net beyond physicians: incorporate psychologists, counselors and mental health specialists into the pipeline so no provider is operating in silo.
The state of adolescent mental health is dire, but eQHealth is committed to getting this conversation started and working with the healthcare community to implement ideas into actions.
eQHealth is the industry leader in Population Health Management Solutions, delivering high-tech solutions with human-touch service. eQHealth also received the first – and only – CMS-certified care management technology in the United States. Through data-driven strategies combined with compassionate care, eQHealth creates optimal financial outcomes for payers, providers and members with powerful long-term results.
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