Kids, teens win when mental health providers team with pediatricians, family doctors, UCLA study finds

October 16, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

UCLA Newsroom

Researchers at UCLA are seeing positive results from “integrated care” programs that team up doctors and mental health care providers to treat young patients. The researchers found that kids and teens who received integrated care were 66 percent more likely to have positive outcomes than those in conventional primary care. Not all pediatricians are able to address behavioral health issues, and when they give referrals for mental health care, children and families are sometimes unable to follow up.  “Integrated approaches bring mental health care to a setting where kids already are, reducing barriers to mental health care such as stigma or the practical complications of shifting to a different care setting,” said lead author Joan Asarnow, director of the UCLA Youth Stress and Mood Program. “Efforts to improve access to behavioral health care through primary care are likely to lead to real improvements in the lives of kids and families.”

Spark Extra! Learn about recent research showing early success in a Washington-based program to assist families and teens in following up on mental health care referrals.