Did you know that one third of children in the US receive mental health care solely from a primary care provider?* Pediatricians, Family Practitioners, and Advanced Practice Nurses are the first line and often the only resource for these patients.* However, identification of specific mental health disorders can be difficult and challenging to treat in the primary care setting.* Fortunately clinicians in Illinois have DocAssist to support their efforts. We have been providing free telephone and in person psychiatric consultations to primary care providers for over ten years.
We would like to highlight that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Your efforts to address mental health issues can change the trajectory of a young person’s life. A DocAssist phone consultation (866-986-2778) can provide accurate and timely interventions to relieve your burden and to help your patients. Our website has screening tools and resources geared toward the primary care practice.
As we raise awareness around mental health issues, it is important to recognize the associated stigma that many families experience. In and effort to break down the stigma, The Child Mind Institute has partnered with celebrities who share their own experiences with mental health #MyYoungerSelf. These videos may spark conversations with patients and families about mental health awareness. Sharing stories about mental illness can help normalize the occurrence of mental health issues with children. The more children and families can learn about mental health, diagnosis and treatment, the more effective the intervention can be for reduction of symptoms.
It is important to note that physical and mental well-being are intimately related. The absence of a diagnosable mental illness does not equate with good mental or physical health. There are many steps that can be taken to promote overall wellness within a pediatric practice. Good nutrition, adequate sleep, and exercise are all aspects of maintaining a child or adolescent’s physical and mental health. Often the causes of mental health issues are non-medical problems that are difficult to change such as poverty, violence and educational disparities. Role modeling wellness and supporting family, community, school, and work wellness interventions makes a difference. It is the tipping point that promotes resiliency in ourselves and the families we serve. DocAssist is available for consultations regarding promoting wellness in your practice or if you need assistance with a patient or family.
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