"We are moving away from a primarily reactive approach to care to a much more proactive approach," says study author Tina Cheng, chair of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and chief medical officer for the Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation.
Over the past six years, the foundation, in partnership with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has invested more than $100 million in mental health initiatives, including improvements to the hospital's psychiatric hospital, the creation of a new mental health early warning system, and the training of more psychologists who work in pediatric offices, per a press release.
"The work started here more than six years ago is building a strongly integrated system of care that focuses on early prevention while providing truly innovative ways to serve children and families in crisis," writes Cheng in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Among the initiatives: a virtual training program for front-line health experts to enhance mental health skills for pediatricians, social workers, school nurses, and others working with children in primary care settings; the creation of the Mind Brain Behavior Collaborative to bridge access gaps, integrate mental health expertise into pediatric practices, and commit to long-term research efforts to achieve earlier intervention; a clinic that diverts children from the emergency department to an outpatient clinic to provide immediate assessment
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