The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry estimates that the country needs 47 child psychiatrists per 100,000. That’s four times the number found by a recent study published in Pediatrics, writes David Axelson, MD, chief of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
And the existing psychiatrists are heavily concentrated in metropolitan areas; 70% of American counties do not have a child psychiatrist. Massachusetts has eight times the number of child psychiatrists per 100,000 children as Iowa. How do we solve this?
Dr. Axelson explains a “system of care” concept that has developed at Nationwide Children’s, where psychiatrists lead multidisciplinary teams of mental health professionals and work with community primary care providers to reach underserved areas.
For example, a recently launched virtual consultation service, called Behavioral Health Treatment Insights and Provider Support (BH-TIPS), allows community primary care providers to schedule 15-minute appointments with Nationwide Children’s psychiatrists for support and insight.