The need for mental health care among children and teens greatly outstrips the number of qualified clinicians available, particularly in rural and underserved areas. Yet in the United States at least, most young people see their primary care doctors regularly, even during the teen years when required check-ups are less frequent.
What if pediatricians and family practitioners could be equipped with a "mental health first aid kit," including training that would allow them to be a first resource for mental health care, and in some, less acute cases, the only mental health care provider a child needs to see? Larry Wissow, M.D., M.P.H., discussed both the potential upsides and the obstacles involved in implementing such a model in his Grand Rounds presentation at the NYU Child Study Center, on April 27, 2012. His presentation was entitled "Task Shifting, Stepped-Care, and Symptomatic Treatment — Rethinking Mental Health for Pediatric Primary Care."
You can see a video of Dr. Wissow's Grand Rounds above. Other Grand Rounds presentations from the CSC, as well as video interviews with our clinicians and Grand Rounds speakers, are available on the NYU CSC YouTube channel.
Dr. Wissow is an Associate Professor, Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.