Importance of Early Information to Clients:
Many families see a pediatrician at least once a year for their wellness exam. This makes it an opportune moment to start the conversation about child and adolescent mental health. Starting conversations at an early age to allow the patient and family to get acquainted with the community resources available and also prepare them that there are resources in the community if they need it and to understand what is “normal” as they continue to grow.
As the child and adolescent grow, it is normal for the child to experience difficult emotions, thoughts, and feelings. However, if your child or adolescent is experiencing these issues more frequently than expected then it could be a sign that something serious is going on.
When the family comes in for their yearly wellness exam this would be a great time to put in a questionnaire or begin screening for other mental health concerns with the patient and with their family. Some screenings that are recommended is a Biopsychosocial Exam which gathers information on the patient about their genetics, past and present mental health situations, and environment. Biopsychosocial exams are a great way to get to know the patient from different areas of their life and to navigate if they are undergoing a mental health issue. As the child enters adolescent years, it is important to give the adolescent privacy during these conversations to help teach them advocacy and communication skills.
Screenings are important to utilize as a pediatrician to understand what is going on with your patient and who to refer to when it is determined that they need mental health care. As a country, we are noticing that children and adolescents are impacted from the COVID-19 Pandemic and increasing the percentage of children struggling with mental health concerns. Being able to address the situation at least yearly as a pediatrician is important to prevent future crises or concerns in the future for that family and person.
Importance of Collaboration:
When a family comes to the pediatrician, they may not know the resources to help with their family behaviors or concerns. As a pediatrician, it is important to direct them to the appropriate care they need and to work collaboratively with the agencies that you refer too. There is an importance of collaboration due to providing the best care for the patient and their family, knowing what the family is working towards, and staying in the know of your patient. It can be exhausting for the patient and their family to repeat themselves or relive traumatic events and by working collaboratively with family resources can help with “filling in the blanks” and being involved.
Who to refer to and when:
When a patient or family discloses information on mental health concerns it is important to demonstrate active listening skills and direct them to the right resource. If a patient discloses any self-harming behaviors, suicidal ideations, or homicidal ideations then it is best practice to get them a Psychological Evaluation at the nearest hospital by a professional mental health worker and provide the family with outpatient resources in your area.
If the family expresses behavior concerns or other unusual behaviors then it would be best to refer them to an outpatient mental health treatment. This can include local therapists or medication management. Reminding the family that they are not alone with growing with their child’s needs is an important way to help establish trust and appropriate care for what they need.
When a person and family comes to the pediatrician for further information on mental health providers assessing their needs, collaboration of care, and referring them appropriately helps the family feel supported at an uncertain time. At Youme Healthcare, we provide Outpatient Mental Health treatment for individuals and families including psychiatry options for specialized pediatric focused medication management for behavioral health services. We also believe in collaborative care work and will provide updates on client’s treatment to provide the client and their family a professional support group that they can rely on.
We have several different ways to refer a patient to seek telehealth mental health treatment whichever way is easiest for you that is the preferred way!
- Email: email@example.com
- Call or text 866-968-6342
- Completing the referral form at www.Youmehealthcare.com