The Growing Crisis in Children’s Mental Health
Mental health challenges are now the most prevalent and disabling conditions in children today.
Our Biggest Challenges
In addition to a lack of resources and capacity, partners identified three major barriers:
- Fragmentation – Our community currently has a fragmented, uncoordinated approach and lacks shared and consistent protocols to prevent crises, manage them when they occur and support children in remaining healthy when they are back in the community.
- Data – A shared system to collect community data and to prioritize action is needed.
- Workforce – Far too few qualified mental health professionals are available to support community needs. Additionally, there is not enough psychiatric support and consultation.
Our Biggest Opportunities
Partners identified three community-wide opportunities to improve children’s mental health services.
- 1 – A one-stop child and adolescent mental health collaborative with a:
- Single point of access including triage line, bed space for children awaiting safe placement, and navigators to advise and link first responders, concerned families, health professionals and community providers to needed services.
- Coordinated cross-agency protocols and care plans for supporting children and families with acute crises and helping them to remain healthy in the community.
- 2 – Increased support and expansion of existing mobile crisis response teams.
- 3 – Workforce development and continued training in pediatric mental health.
In addition, multiple actions were identified that individual agencies might implement in partnership with one another such as embedding mental health workers in schools to identify issues early and prevent crises.
Law enforcement has improved resource information for families. A first ever baseline survey about children’s mental health needs has been conducted. Agencies are already connecting with each other to strengthen staff training. MultiCare has submitted a proposal to partner on a large grant with the Health Care Authority.
Be part of the solution
In early 2019, the community will hold the second of the two-part planning meetings to confirm our short-term actions and long-term agenda.
To learn more, CONTACT US.