Help Me Grow, Help Me Thrive Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Pilot
Grant Status: Active
Training Category: Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program (PMHCA)
My Health My Resources of Tarrant County
Fort Worth, TX
Phone: (817) 569-4518
The comprehensive response to COVID-19 has changed daily life in many ways for many people. The pandemic has overwhelmed health systems and children may no longer receive the necessary screenings or have access to life-saving basic health care. Tarrant County, Texas has both large urban areas and smaller rural communities that face challenges with accessing primary and mental health care services. Primary care providers (PCPs) are often relied upon to help identify patients with mental health needs and communities that have a lack of PCPs face even more challenges in addressing that need. Additionally, inadequate access to specialty care has contributed to the limited scope and size of safety net health systems. Childhood services and behavioral health care are difficult to access due to lack of transportation, lack of capacity, and lack of provider access.
Goals and Objectives:
The purpose of HMG/HMT PMHCA Pilot support the provision of comprehensive integrated care, including mental health consultation and care coordination to their pediatric PCPs throughout Tarrant County, Texas. The supporting objectives are to: 1) Improve primary pediatric provider self-efficacy as it relates to screening, diagnosing, treating, and referring pediatric patients with mental health conditions 2) Increase telehealth access to primary pediatric care providers, mental health providers, school nurses and other behavioral health practitioners/professionals 3) Improve the percentage of children and youth who receive developmental and SDoH screenings are successfully connected to community services and providers
The Pilot will support the enhancement of integrated pediatric mental health care within the continuum of services supported under the HMG/HMT system framework. The service delivery model is designed to create a "safety net for the safety net" through an integrated model of care that incorporates primary care, behavioral health, developmental health, mental health, occupational health, and therapeutic services. The model will provide mental health consultation, care coordination support, navigation services, and direct behavioral/mental health care to children and youth when referred by their primary providers. Additionally, long-term supports/joint visits will be available to patients in-person and virtually.
The Pilot will maintain partnerships between MHMR of Tarrant County, Texas Maternal and Child Health Unit, the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County, and more than 40 partners including PCPs, medical homes, behavioral and mental health professionals/providers, school districts.
The evaluation will follow a participatory and utilization-focused mixed-method approach that will inform key stakeholders about successes and challenges in meeting project goals. The local performance assessment will be completed to ensure goals and objectives proposed have been achieved, if adjustments need to be made to the project, and if the project is having the intended impact on behavioral health disparities. The performance assessment will look at the impact of the following: social marketing campaigns, recruitment and training of professionals, the enhancement of knowledge for both professionals and providers, and screening and assessment activities to determine if these have helped effectively identify individuals in need. Additionally, the performance assessment will explore the impact the program activities have on outcomes, including an improvement in social-emotional development of children age birth to 18, as well an increase in parental protective factors, parenting practices, and decreased parenting and provider strain.