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Funded Projects

Child Access to Mental Health and Psychiatry (CHAMP)

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program (PMHCA)

Project Director(s):

Dustin E Sarver, Ph.D
Mississippi Department of Mental Health
Jackson, MS  39201
Phone: (601) 815-5994

Gigi Holder, LCSW, MPH
Mississippi Department of Mental Health
Jackson, MS  3920
Phone: (601) 984-2080

Project videos:

Introduction video


Access to quality psychiatric care is a national challenge for a significant number of children and families, but this challenge is exacerbated in Mississippi, where we have some of the nation's most significant healthcare, geographic, workforce, and socioeconomic challenges. This problem is compounded by poor rates of integrated behavioral healthcare with primary care providers. Implementation of CHAMP has begun to overcome these barriers to provide improved accessibility to specialized psychiatric care through telehealth consultation, care coordination, referral services and provider education. Yet CHAMP still does not have a presence in 21 of 82 Mississippi counties, and a significant need to support, and provide access to, school-based health and mental health providers, as well as add new roles/disciplines exists.

Goals and Objectives:

To expand the implementation presence of our statewide pediatric mental health access program (CHAMP) for pediatric primary care providers to support consultation, care coordination, referral assistance, and education to primary care providers (PCPs). Expansion to unreached geographical areas, new program expansion to include school-based health and mental health providers (including reaching additional geographic areas) and adding new disciplines (developmental-behavioral pediatrics) are proposed. We will provide training and educational opportunities for providers regarding the screening, identification, management, and referral of behavioral health conditions, and will determine the effectiveness of CHAMP.


CHAMP will provide rapid consultation access and care coordination via an expert integrated behavioral health team of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, a mental health coordinator, family partner advocate, and social worker/counselors. Pediatric PCPs in the 21, more rural/underserved counties with no CHAMP enrolled providers will be enrolled. An additional 24 school-based counties from 4 DMH regions will be included. We aim to enroll 66% of all statewide pediatric PCPs. Using Project ECHO and opportunities on our website, we will provide a suite of online, video, and in-face adult learning opportunities.


Consultation and resource/referral services will be provided by a dedicated mental health coordinator. A Family Partner advocate will conduct community- and family-level care coordination, training, and attend PCP and school-based ECHOs. An online director of resource/referral options will be collated and made available. At the systems-level, coordination between DMH, the MCH Title V program, multiple state agencies and insurer stakeholders will occur, including for evaluation activities.


A multi-prong program evaluation and rapid cycle quality improvement plan is proposed for CHAMP that will advance inform its effectiveness, impact on economic and access metrics (using multiple insurer administrative claims databases), and sustainability. Annual surveys to providers and families will help determine satisfaction with CHAMP's impact on access to psychiatric care and coordination of services. Impact of provider ECHOs regarding pre-/post-changes to knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behavior will be determined.