Pediatricians are often the first clinicians to see young patients with mental health conditions, but they may feel ill equipped to provide care for such patients. They may also struggle to find specialists to whom they can refer more complicated cases because many geographical areas face significant shortages of child and adolescent psychiatrists. To address these problems and expand access to mental health care, many states are creating programs that provide pediatricians with training along with real-time access to support from mental health professionals.
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Many areas, particularly rural communities, lack sufficient numbers of child psychiatrists to meet the mental health needs of local children. To bridge this gap, some programs are helping pediatricians to provide more mental health care.
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