Prevalence of behavioral or mental health disorders in New Hampshire's pediatric population is high compared to national averages. The National Survey of Children's Health showed that among NH children ages 2-17, 12.6% have one or more emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions, and of those children nearly half received mental health treatment or counseling within the past year. NH counties identified as having mental health service shortages are also the most rural communities with the highest percentages of children living in poverty.
Goals and Objectives:
This project will improve the mental health and well-being of NH children through increasing access to affordable and appropriate treatment and recovery services in the community. The goals are to promote behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care by supporting the development of a new statewide NH Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program. The objectives are 1) Train, educate, and support NH's health care providers to identify and care for children with pediatric mental health conditions; 2) Enable front-line health providers to receive provider teleconsultation services about the identification and treatment of children with a mental health condition; 3) Enhance delivery of services through the creation of a referral directory of all pediatric mental/behavioral health services and supports.
For this project, NH DHHS will partner with academic, health care and family support organizations to establish a statewide pediatric mental health team and implement a telehealth access program and to provide training and technical assistance to primary care providers. This project will expand providers' training, knowledge and skills in screening and treating these conditions by using evidence-based practices and methods such as Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) model. The NH Pediatric Mental Health Team will establish and expand pediatric providers' capacity for the timely detection, assessment, treatment and referral of children and adolescents with mental and behavioral health disorders through telehealth especially for those living in rural and underserved areas.
Project activities will be coordinated in partnership with academic, healthcare and family support organizations to ensure seamless provision of services funded by this grant.
Data and experience gathered from NH providers will be especially valuable both for cross-sharing among practices and among a larger audience in NH. Project evaluation will be conducted by analyzing data on HRSA proposed outcome measures and provider selfefficacy surveys.