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New capacity for prevention and earlier treatment

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Each pediatrician sees over 1,000 youth
By Bob Anthony
Posted: 2023-01-06T21:29:57Z

Before the national launch of this program in December, the fourth and final pilot of this evidence based program was completed with 15 providers in Naples, Florida on June 30, 2022. As a result, families receive preventive toolkits. These exercises can prevent pre-symptoms from worsening. If needed, they also receive earlier treatment for Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, or Disruptive Behavior Disorder. Over 15,000 youth benefit from this new capacity for behavioral health care each year in Naples.

The program overcomes the fact that just 8,000 child and adolescent psychiatrists are available in the country by leveraging the 60,000 pediatricians and their respective staff. The training from Boston Children's Hospital is self-paced with on-demand video clips and testing. The new training builds on a 'curbside consult' by telephone with a child and adolescent psychiatrist. The Boston Children's Hospital training program is called Building Bridges of Understanding. The previous pilots were at Boston Children's Hospital, Los Angeles Children's Hospital, and Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Providers in Mexico, USA and Canada earn five AAPA Category 1 (Physician Assistant), AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ (MD, DO, NP, PA), Contact Hours (Nurse, Nurse Practitioner).

Before this program half of youth waited, on average, 10 years between symptom onset and first treatment; the other half never got treatment. For example, the Rotary club of Naples printed bound sets of the preventive toolkits to the providers completing the training. This year the District 6960 Chapter - Mental Health Initiatives Action Group will provide the manuals to participating providers in Collier County and Lee County, Florida.

Any Rotary member can replicate this program in the local community. To learn more, see the toolkit, A Lever.

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