Parents' Perspective: The Need for Emotional Support

Parents' Perspective: The Need for Emotional Support

Emotional health is an essential component of child health, especially for families of pediatric patients with chronic conditions.

The American Board of Pediatrics' (ABP) Roadmap Project aims to improve the emotional health of pediatric patients with chronic conditions and their families by raising awareness about the need for support and providing resources for clinicians.

"Life with a child with a chronic condition requires constant 24/7 management," says Amy Ohmer, mother of two daughters with Type 1 diabetes. "There are no breaks. It doesn't go away on your birthday; it doesn't go away because you go to Disney World. It's always there."

The Roadmap Project was co-designed by patients, parents, clinicians and pediatric psychologists from across children's hospitals. Carole Lannon, M.D., M.P.H., senior quality advisor for the ABP and professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, says the pediatrician's interest and support is valued. "Validating the stress patients and families feel can open the door to discussion," she says. "You don't have to be a mental health professional to make a difference."

Children's Hospital Association, in partnership with ABP Roadmap Initiative, is hosting a four-part webinar series on emotional health. This learning series presented by clinicians, parents, quality improvement experts will:

  • Explore the emotional toll of chronic pediatric conditions.
  • Highlight the relationship to outcomes and costs.
  • Provide tools and strategies clinical teams can use to support patient and family emotional health and resilience.

The first webinar, Supporting Emotional Health: Tell Me, How Are You Doing? focused on the emotional toll of life with a pediatric chronic condition and the simple query that can help.

Up next, Assessing Readiness to Effectively Support Emotional Health will provide resources for clinicians to initiate efforts and support patients. 

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