Families, providers, hospitals and health care systems are experiencing a behavioral and mental health crisis. By bringing together pediatric leaders from across the country in our online behavioral health community and sharing experiences and strategies to address the crisis, our members have identified challenges and solutions to drive national change.
By improving mental and behavioral health, we are establishing a healthier future for our children. Here are a few ways Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), and our members, are improving behavioral health care for kids.
Training the workforce
Workforce challenges persist in health care—and training health care professionals to appropriately care for kids with behavioral health issues remains a priority.
- CHA’s Pediatric Learning Solutions offers online courses for clinicians dedicated to children’s mental, behavioral and emotional health.
- Children's Health in Dallas partnered with Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute to launch a pediatric mental health initiative that trains pediatric providers to detect and treat behavioral health conditions before they escalate to a crisis.
- CHA and our members are working to safeguard the pediatric workforce through advocacy, shared learning, and improvement initiatives this year. Here’s how.
Advocating for access and care
Pediatric health care needs urgent action and investments to address the mental health care crisis.
- CHA's documentary, "The Wait to Nowhere," highlights the growing issue of children in crisis boarding in emergency departments. The film challenges lawmakers to acknowledge this crisis and act now.
- States have a distinct ability to tailor programs to meet the specific needs of their communities. CHA is tracking these initiatives to support future advocacy efforts.
- Members can use CHA’s fact sheet to summarize and highlight how children’s hospitals are addressing the crisis.
Telling the story
Through data and collaboration, we can learn from one another and gain a better understanding of the crisis.
- Increasing cases of pediatric suicidality highlight the ongoing mental health crisis among youth. Suicide attempts, ideation and self-injury are the most common mental health conditions seen in children's hospitals' emergency departments, according to data from CHA's Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS).
- The Behavioral Health Virtual Learning Series focuses exclusively on the progress made in caring for children. Each session is designed to learn from a member, with time allotted for discussion and implementation.
Focusing on quality
As children’s hospitals and health systems work to improve health outcomes, they must rethink their role in broader health issues. This includes digging deeper into areas such as behavioral health.
- Children's Healthcare of Atlanta developed a behavioral and mental health nursing team to educate staff, improve outcomes, reduce stigma and enhance access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
- Preventing Youth Suicide: A Cardinal Health Foundation National Collaborative, is the first of its kind with the intent to develop a pediatric data-driven approach to improve the identification and care of children at risk for suicide.
- A toolkit from Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt ensures evidence-based, standardized care for all patients.