Wednesday, August 13, 2014

N.Y. Child Psychiatrists Collaborating to Provide Consultation to Primary Care

Five university-based divisions of child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) in New York are collaborating to provide education and consultation to primary care physicians in the state around issues related to mental health care of their patients. The “Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for Primary Care” (CAP-PC) initiative, sponsored by a grant from the New York State Office of Mental Health, funds the five CAP divisions from the University at Buffalo, Columbia University, Hofstra/North Shore/Long Island Jewish, University of Rochester, and SUNY Upstate Medical University (Syracuse) to provide phone, face-to-face, and telepsychiatry consultation to pediatricians and family physicians caring for children in more than 90 percent of the state.

Additionally, the five divisions have chosen to partner with the Resource for Advancing Children's Health (REACH) Institute—a national organization established 2006 to develop education for primary care physicians in child mental health—to provide a formal “mini-fellowship” in “Assessment and Management of Child and Adolescent Mental Health.” That mini-fellowship consists of three days of intensive training in evidence-based assessment and treatment of common problems seen among children in primary care offices: ADHD, depression, anxiety, and aggression.

The initiative represents a critical element of integrated health care: extending the expertise of experts in psychiatry to primary care and other practitioners.

“This is a remarkable and unprecedented collaboration among academic institutions to improve mental health care of children,” child psychiatrist David Kaye, M.D., (pictured above) CAP-PC project director at the University of Buffalo, told Psychiatric News. “To have primary care face this squarely and take it into mainstream practice is a welcome step in destigmatizing mental health problems, promoting access to care, and making the kind of strides we need to make in order to assure treatment for all, and prevent disability and reduce risk.”

For information about other efforts to collaborate across disciplines in the care of children and adolescents, see the Psychiatric News article, “Innovative `Buddy System’ Teaches Collaboration.” Also see the Psychiatric Services study, "Clinicians' Utilization of Child Mental Health Telephone Consultation in Primary Care: Findings From Massachusetts."


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