Children’s Hospitals Pledge Support for White House National Conversation on Mental Health

For Immediate Release
May 30, 2013
Contact: Gillian Ray
703-797-6027
www.childrenshospitals.net

(Alexandria, VA) -- On June 3, 2013, the White House launches a national conversation on mental health focused on reducing negative attitudes toward mental illness and those who seek mental health services. As invited participants in this dialogue, children’s hospitals support expanding efforts to promote access to mental health services for children and adolescents in their communities.

Children’s hospitals stand ready to promote access to age-appropriate mental health services that meet the needs of their communities. These efforts might include: grand rounds for non-mental health professionals on recognizing and responding to early warning signs of mental illness; increased utilization of screening tools for primary care visits and in the emergency department; deployment of social media to educate communities about mental health services; and dissemination of mental health information to hospital employees.

“Children’s hospitals take care of the whole child and want to ensure pediatric patients have access to the full scope of services they need, including mental health,” said Mark Wietecha, president and CEO of the Children’s Hospital Association. “Children’s hospitals work with community partners such as schools, treatment centers and the states to reach and serve all children facing mental health challenges. We look forward to bringing our experience and expertise to the dialogue.”

In cities and towns across the country, children’s hospitals offer comprehensive, community-based services in mental and behavioral health; provide a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services for children with chronic mental health challenges; and train more than 300 residents in developmental behavioral pediatrics and child and adolescent psychiatry annually.

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The Children’s Hospital Association advances child health through innovation in the quality, cost and delivery of care. Representing more than 220 children’s hospitals, the Association advances public policy enabling hospitals to better serve children, and is the premier resource for pediatric data and analytics driving improved clinical and operational performance of member hospitals.