Supporting Behavioral Health at Home
Children do best when they are in their home with their family. The Children’s Mental Health Campaign is working to ensure children and their families are able to receive high-quality behavioral health care which allows children to remain at home or return home without delay. Despite significant improvements in the availability of behavioral health care, ongoing barriers prevent children from remaining at home and receiving timely services, including:
- Finding the right point of entry to receive care;
- Long waits for outpatient and in-home care and lengthy stays in emergency departments or other non-psychiatric settings as clinicians try to find appropriate placement;
- Lack of coordination among care providers and/or state agencies; and
- Difficulty in finding the appropriate authority to address a concern or resolve a conflict.
The COVID 19 pandemic deepened these access issues while also opening avenues to new approaches to delivering care which have proven effective for some- but not all children.
Promoting Solutions & Preventing Barriers to Care
Transparency and relief from the pediatric emergency department boarding crisis.
The pediatric behavioral health system is overwhelmed by demand, resulting in delayed and inconsistent treatment for children and youth in acute behavioral health crises. Creating a system of data collection and establishing protocols for admitting patients under the age of 22 will increase transparency and provide immediate relief for children awaiting placement.
- Data collection and updated protocols for children awaiting care | An Act relative to child ED boarding | S.107
- Addressing barriers to timely care for children with complex needs | An Act to resolve barriers to timely access to behavioral health care for children with complex needs | S.106
- Data collection and transparency of children awaiting care | An Act relative to transparency in behavioral health boarding | H.203
Access to timely behavioral health care supports
Long waits for services and inconsistent care prevent children from getting the care they need when they need it. Creating alternatives to the emergency department for children in crisis and expanding access to behavioral health services and supports prevents children from boarding and allows them to remain in their homes.
For at-risk and court-involved youth, programs like MHAP for Kids eliminate obstacles to mental health services and divert children from possible or further court involvement.
- Expanding the system of behavioral health urgent care | An Act relative to behavioral health urgent care | H.2083
- Establishing an Ombudsperson to help families navigate the behavioral health system | An Act to protect children’s mental health services | H.2115/S.1297
- Supporting at-risk and court-involved youth | Mental Health Advocacy Program (MHAP) for Kids: DCF Line Item #4800-0200