The mental health community in Stark County needs to reimagine a new way of providing access to psychiatric assessment and evidence-based psychopharmacology services for children and families. Available data suggests that children and teens in Stark County with major mental illness are going unidentified and untreated. Potential solutions to the access problems that have characterized the child mental health system for many years should have the potential to improve access to quality care for all children and families living in the county – not just kids and families currently served by the system. Any new service delivery model must be fiscally responsible and optimize the return on investment for funders of the community’s mental health services.

 

The proposed solution put forth by the leadership of Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health incorporates three significant initiatives…

 

  • A focus on using child and adolescent psychiatric resources to enhance the capacity of patient-centered pediatric medical homes to identify kids at risk of significant mental illness and to support local pediatricians in broadening their ability to provide evidence-based medical intervention for children and teens with common mental health conditions. The model of service delivery is most similar to the evidence-based, IMPACT model of Collaborative Care developed by the University of Washington to improve behavioral health outcomes for patients treated in primary care settings. This website has been created in support of the pediatric medical home initiative.

 

  • Building upon Child and Adolescent’s established training programs in psychology and counseling to develop a Center of Excellence for Interdisciplinary Training of medical and mental health professionals. Advanced practice nurses (APNs) and physician assistants (PAs) will provide the preponderance of medical services in the community mental health system under Ohio’s proposed behavioral health redesign. C&A plans to be at the forefront of training the prescribers who will populate the public mental health system in the years to come and provide services through pediatric medical homes. C&A needs to develop and nurture a supply of physician extenders with the training and supervision to provide high-quality care for children, teens and families within the public mental health system, primary care medical homes and private practices throughout the community.

 

  • Establishment of a new medical services team.   Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health. Advanced practice nurses and physician assistants will provide the preponderance of care in the new team. Child and adolescent psychiatrists will continue to play a critical role for kids with the most complex emotional, behavioral, developmental and medical needs who are involved with multiple systems of care. Child psychiatrists will serve on treatment teams established to quickly respond to the needs of children and families in crisis and will maintain a role in evaluating children and teens who have failed to respond to appropriate treatment interventions offered by other service providers within the agency or the child’s pediatric medical home.