New Jersey Chapter
American Academy of Pediatrics
3836 Quakerbridge Road
Suite 108
Hamilton, NJ 08619

Phone: 609-842-0014
Fax: 609-842-0015

Elliot Rubin, MD, FAAP
Chapter President

Fran Gallagher, MEd
Executive Director

Harriet Lazarus, MBA
Deputy Director

Bert Mulder
Director, Membership & Events

Mental Health
Essex County Primary Care-Child Psychiatrist Consultation Project (2013)

The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), in collaboration with the NJ Department of Health, New Jersey, American Academy of Pediatrics (NJAAP), 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, received funding from February 1st,2012 to December 31st 2012 from The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey and the Partners for Health Foundation to established a pilot Primary Care-Child Psychiatrist Consultation initiative in Essex County.

Purpose/Goals of Project: The purpose of the project was 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 included (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 included (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 were 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, at jdavid@aapnj.org or 609-842-0014.

​Bridging the Divide Between
Massachussets Child Psych

Integrating Mental Health and Primary care
SPAN of NJ Family Voices Program
Family Support Organization of Essex County