• Reference Material
  • October 20, 2021

Pediatric Behavioral Health Integration in Primary Care: Commentary

Integrated behavioral health care (IBH) focuses on prevention, brief problem-focused therapy, and coordination with other providers and places for patients with more complex needs. The needs of individual clinics and populations vary, and IBH models have the flexibility to be adapted to meet the highest priority needs for individual practices while still maintaining some core elements.

Core components of IBH models are likely to include screening, assessment and diagnosis of behavioral health concerns, brief interventions provided either by a pediatrician or behavioral health specialist; care coordination, triage and referral assistance. Additional components may include provider training and support; anticipatory guidance for families and support navigating the broader community's behavioral health system; liaising with the patient/family, health care and school teams; and program development and evaluation.

IBH can be an effective approach for promoting health at a systems level and can make available previously inaccessible services for diverse populations.