State initiative aims to increase role of primary care physicians in diagnosing mental health issues in children

The state is attempting to make it easier for physicians to connect child and adolescent patients to mental health services and better diagnose those that have potential psychiatric symptoms.

Under a new initiative, primary care physicians in Maryland will have access to mental health specialists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health through a phone consultation line.

Training on how to identify mental health problems in children will also be offered under the initiative and the state will create a better pipeline between doctors and psychologists and psychiatrists.

The state has also launched a pilot program at four Eastern Shore primary care practices that places interns from Salisbury University at the doctor's offices. The on-site interns, with a mental health background, help screen patients and consult on treatment options.

Catching mental health problems in children early can help in their overall development, experts say. State health officials said they hope to make mental health screening a more routine part of the primary care setting.


Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad