Guest Blog: New Jersey Psychiatric Association Supports the NJ Pediatric Psychiatry Collaborative Care Initiative to Advance Youth Access to Mental Health Care
*This piece is edited from the original press release published in the NJPA website.
As part of PRMS’ ongoing efforts to support the behavioral healthcare community and promote the organizations that work towards this mission, we are pleased to highlight our Platinum Partner, the New Jersey Psychiatric Association, and its recently announced new partnership with the Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center – through this partnership, NJPA is now an approved subcontractor of the New Jersey Pediatric Psychiatry Collaborative, and together, will continue the mission of the NJPPC, working to expand children’s access to mental health care throughout the state.
Children and adolescents are experiencing increased emotional distress in response to current events, and early mental health intervention is crucial. However, many families today are finding it difficult to access this care. As a result, symptoms worsen, leading to poor outcomes and more intense and expensive treatment. This includes increased rates of school dropout, substance use, involvement in the juvenile justice system, and increased suicide.
The New Jersey Psychiatric Association (NJPA) has represented its members as a key stakeholder in bringing the New Jersey Pediatric Psychiatry Collaborative (NJPPC), a patient centered care model, to New Jersey. The research indicates that collaborative care works, but only if psychiatrists are an integral part of this collaborative team-based approach. Now the NJPA, the official voice of organized psychiatry in the state, invites its 850+ members to join the initiative.
“The New Jersey Psychiatric Association has been a longstanding champion of the collaborative care model and has advocated for policies to support the implementation and sustainability of the NJPPC,” said Debra Koss, MD, DFAACAP, DFAPA, Chair, NJPA Council on Advocacy, NJPA. “As a partner working with Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center, the NJPA will be able to provide members with additional information and resources to support and engage with the NJPPC.”
The NJPPC is a state-funded grant program that brings Hackensack Meridian Health System, Cooper University Health System, and the Atlantic Health System together in partnership to provide quick access to psychiatric consultation and facilitates referrals for ongoing behavioral health care. Developed in response to the growing challenges families face in accessing mental health treatment for their children, the program brings pediatricians into the fold in a collaborative partnership with child and adolescent psychiatrists to support a triaged approach to delivering evidence-based care based on the severity of the child’s needs.
The NJPPC provides quick access to psychiatric consultation and facilitates referrals for receiving ongoing behavioral health care. Pediatricians are encouraged to integrate behavioral health resources into their practices and work with child and adolescent psychiatrists, as well as other behavioral health providers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated longstanding challenges faced by families trying to access mental health services for their children,” said Dr. Koss. “To help combat the issue, the collaborative care model allows child and adolescent psychiatrists to play a critical role in providing pediatricians with education and training to develop new behavioral health knowledge and skills and offer timely consultation to assist in diagnosis and treatment planning.”
Learn more about the NJPA and the NJPPC initiative in the NJPA’s press release here.
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