The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), in collaboration with the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services, American Academy of Pediatrics - NJ Chapter/NJ Pediatric Council on Research and Education, NJ Psychiatric Association, NJ Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Family Support Organization of Essex County, Family Voices-NJ, and the Essex County Mental Health Association, has received funding from The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey and the Partners for Health Foundation to establish a pilot Primary Care-Child Psychiatrist
Consultation initiative in Essex County.
Purpose/Goals of Project: The purpose of the project is to bring to Essex County an innovative and effective model now being used in 21 states to connect primary care providers to child and adolescent psychiatrists for consultation to help with earlier identification of and more appropriate services to children with mental health challenges (including more appropriate use of medication) and to connect families of children with mental health needs with family support and community resources. Outcomes include (a) changed attitudes, behaviors, and comfort levels of primary care
providers and families, and (b) improved outcomes for Essex children with mental health needs.
Project Activities: Activities include (a) Outreach to Essex parents, community providers, county Special Child Health Services Case Management Units, Care Management Organizations, and Family Success Centers, child and adolescent
psychiatrists, and pediatricians and family practitioners, to inform them of the availability of project services; (b) Training of pediatricians/family practitioners in partnering with child psychiatrists and with parents, effective use of psychotropic
medications, serving as a “medical home” for children with mental health needs, and community resources; (c) Linking primary care providers with child and adolescent psychiatrists for consultation on whether or not children should be evaluated by a child psychiatrist, appropriate interventions, psychotropic medications, community resources; and (d) Provision of family support and connection to resources for families of children with mental health challenges. Primary care doctors (pediatricians and family practitioners) will be able to access a child/adolescent psychiatrist or a knowledgeable Licensed Social Worker 5 days/week for consultation on children with mental health challenges in their practices. Parents of such children will be able to access a bilingual Family Support/Care Coordinator 5 days/week for family support, information on resources, and advocacy assistance.
For more information, contact Juliana David, Program Director AAP/NJ PCORE, at firstname.lastname@example.org