There are growing numbers of children and adolescents with mental health issues. While a higher number may be identified than in the adult population the actual number receiving adequate care is still low. Covid-19 has increased the number of anxious and depressed kids and teens enormously and will continue to impact them for years to come.
In a recent survey covering thirty days (June 24-30 the previous 30 days) and 5,412 young adults 18-24 (translational adolescents), 1 in four participants had serious suicidal ideation.
Primary care providers for children are the frontline for this new epidemic of mental health issues. The pressure of practice with inadequate time, increased responsibilities for immunizations, developmental screening, and basic health care leave little time for screening and interviewing, assessing mental health disorders. All of this coupled with in many cases inadequate tools or training leads to the crisis we find ourselves in today with increasing numbers of suicides, increased numbers of mental health problems in schools, and the justice system.
- Children’s physical and behavioral health needs are distinct from those of adults, as they are heavily influenced by stages of development, as well as by family, social, and educational environments.
- Untreated or poorly managed childhood mental health disorders not only affect individual children and families but also have significant consequences for a range of systems, including health care, child welfare, juvenile justice, and public education.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
To reduce the numbers of misdiagnosis, improper medication use, a technology that is easy to use, does not increase workload, and has potential revenue must be provided. We must provide providers the ability to screen EVERYONE! Appropriate timely referral with well-developed protocols saves time and improves overall outcomes. Moving away from parent-complaint-driven diagnosis to documentable screening followed by accurate interviews is the answer. In a value-driven reimbursement environment, outcomes measure are crucial. Tools that have been proven in the research world can and have been redesigned to answer these questions in the pediatrician’s office.
Tools such as these, moving from research into use by pediatricians in offices are in the process now in several locations and in specific diagnostic areas addressing anxiety. Several Children’s hospitals are involved using a portion of this type of technology today. Other institutions serving children’s mental health issues are adding this technology into their process models to expedite and increase consistency in the provision of care.
- Tools moving from research into clinical use by pediatricians are in the process now in several locations and in specific diagnostic areas addressing anxiety.
- Multiple Children’s hospitals and 1200 pediatricians involved using a portion of this type of technology today. Other institutions serving children’s mental health issues are adding this technology into their process models to expedite and increase consistency in the provision of care.
- Consistent use of tools that bridge the gap and continue to be useful can provide useful data for this patient demographic.
- To be able to have measures that are repeatable over time and valid over changing age groups has the potential for early recognition of serious mental illness that when discovered early can have much improved outcomes.
Late adolescence and early adulthood is an area of care where consistent use of tools that bridge the gap and continue to be useful can provide useful data. To be able to have measures that are repeatable over time and valid over changing age groups has the potential for early recognition of serious mental illness that when discovered early can have much improved outcomes.
nView Health is moving a technology stack of validated screeners, interview and tracking scales with validity from ages 6-17 for both children, adolescents, and their parents into a format that can be utilized by primary providers as well as systems to enhance the care of patients with mental health issues in the pediatric and adolescent populations. These same validated diagnostic groups are available for the adult population thus allowing a seamless transition into adult care.