Wednesday, April 28, 2010

OMH Linking Physicians

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) is funding a collaborative effort with NY state and county governments to link pediatricians and primary care physicians with child mental health experts across the state. OMH realizes that pediatricians and primary care physicians play a critical role in the early identification of mental and emotional problems in children and can effectively direct parents to available treatments.

The project called “Training and Education for the Advancement of Children’s Health” (TEACH) will provide specialized training, consultations, and links to mental care providers in the mental health field. OMH is collaborating with the Department of Health, Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the New York State Academy of Family Physicians.

Under Project TEACH, consultative support primarily related to diagnostic and psychopharmacologic concerns will occur mainly by telephone, but in some cases via telemedicine and in-person. When more than an initial intervention is needed, referrals will be made and links will be provided to assist families and primary care providers. Access will be provided to clinic treatments, case management, and/or provide family support.

TEACH services will be available statewide and will be provided by the University Psychiatric Practice (UPP) and the Four Winds Foundation. The UPP under the University of Buffalo is an innovative partnership of academic medical centers in the state that came together to support the initiative.

Educational-based training will be available to physicians who provide primary care to children on topics related to children’s social and emotional development. The psychiatry departments from the University of Buffalo, University of Rochester, Columbia University, SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, and the LIJ/North Shore University Health System are working in conjunction with the Resource of Advancing Children’s Health (REACH) Institute to support the training component.

Project TEACH will begin work with their partners in April 2010. For more information, contact Joseph Rosczak, OMH Telepsychiatry Coordinator at (518) 402-4774.