Pediatricians are critically important partners in addressing child and teen mental health disorders. The challenges to preventing, identifying and managing mental health concerns are many. Few of us have received training or have adequate office-based support to address these issues. Time pressures and trust issues make it difficult to sort out the many factors interwoven into their expression, including family dynamics, developmental stage of the child, chronic illnesses, sleep, social stressors, and cultural
and economic issues. Referrals to a failing system of therapy and support are
fraught with frustration for families and providers alike. Despite these barriers, pediatricians bring incredible compassion and communication skills to our visits, making our profession the most trusted source for addressing these complex issues. The AAP Chapter 1 Mental Health committee was formed to use the resources and best practices of our members to assist us all in recognizing, preventing and managing mental health concerns as early as possible for children and teens in our practices.
This website is a compilation of the best practices and resources that our committee members have found useful in addressing these issues. Please see our Advocacy information if you are looking for ideas regarding how to connect your community to resources and/or improve the mental health practices and support within your workplace. We also provide you with ideas on how to take care of yourself in addressing the burden of issues of concern within your practice and how to help us advocate for improved legislation and regulations impacting your environment.
If you’re looking for best practices, please see the Resources information in which we give you access to information about common behavioral concerns, including how to screen for them and diagnose them. We also give you information about the support and referral system for mental health concerns in California, including schools, community-based organizations and behavioral health programs. Finally, we provide you with critically important information on the impact of adverse childhood experiences on mental health and the use of trauma-informed care in your daily practice.