What Needs Does PediPRN Address?
In Rhode Island, as across the country, the need for pediatric mental health services is great. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reported in 2010 that in the course of a year, the incidence of any childhood behavioral health condition is 13.1 percent. Attention deficit disorder, major depression and anxiety, mood, thought and conduct disorders are counted among these conditions.
Considering that Rhode Island is home to approximately 342,000 children, from infant to age 18, more than 44,000 of them may present with a behavioral health condition in a given year.
Nationwide, there is a shortage of child psychiatrists, which prevents many children and adolescents who have behavioral health conditions from getting timely, high-quality care. This presses pediatric PCPs and family practitioners to undertake the mental health care of their patients. PediPRN is designed to provide a bridge between PPCPs and expert providers of mental health care.
PediPRN enhances outreach to PPCPs, providing opportunities to share information, build relationships, and collaborate with other organizations that serve or advocate for children, such as community health teams, mental health centers and more.
Mentoring and education of children’s physicians increases their confidence in screening and treating mild to moderate psychiatric illnesses in their practices. This will promote treatment of children with less acute symptoms by their PPCPs and will help to reserve scarce specialty resources to be devoted to high-risk children with more complex conditions.
In addition to telephone consultations, PediPRN sponsors educational opportunities via e-blasts and CME programs about pediatric psychiatry topics that are relevant for the pediatric primary care community.