Behavioral Health Project Description
Mental Health is becoming a larger portion of primary care pediatrics. One in five children in the United States have emotional symptoms causing impairment. More than half of U.S. children (66%) experience a traumatic event by the age of 16. These children persistently suffer from chronic disease and will make up half of the adults with mental illness. This underscores the importance of screening and addressing these problems in early childhood and adolescence. Practices enrolled in the PHiiT Behavioral Health Project will focus their quality improvement efforts on screening for behavioral health concerns and planning appropriate follow-up for children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, depression, or anxiety.
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Special Focus: Foster Care
For children in the foster care system, mental and behavioral health is the largest unmet need. Children in the foster care system have experienced at least one traumatic event, with most having multiple traumatic events. These children also have a higher incidence of physical health problems, many of which are rooted in the adverse events they have experienced. Ideally these children would have access to a well-trained, experienced mental health clinician. However, the reality is that many communities lack mental and behavioral health providers for children. In these cases, the primary care provider becomes the sole source of care.
As part of the PHiiT Behavioral Health Project, practices may choose to participate in a special project that focuses on caring for children in foster care. Practices will be enrolled in the Behavioral Health in Pediatrics (BeHiP) Foster Care Learning Collaborative. The Learning Collaborative and the PHiiT Foster Care Project, will bring together regional resources, the Department of Children’s Services, Centers of Excellence, and local pediatricians. Through trainings and learning virtual learning collaborative sessions, these entities will learn from one another on how to provide the best care for foster care children, including appropriate trauma screening, medication management, and referral resources.
To learn more about the Foster Care program, please contact Elaine Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pediatric clinic will develop an office Quality Improvement Team to improve the screening, assessment and management of patients with behavioral health concerns in the pediatric practice as measured by monthly reporting of the team’s progress in QI Teamspace over the first 3 months of participation. The pediatric practice will increase screening for the identified behavioral health concern (ADD/ADHD, Depression, Suicide, or Substance Abuse) and/or completion and documentation of recommended follow up planning by 10% over a 12-month period.