Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) published a white paper summarizing the findings and recommendations of its roundtable on pediatric and adolescent collaborative care, hosted in January 2023 in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School.

MMHPI observes, “Half of all mental health conditions manifest by age 14, and yet children and youth are waiting an average of eight to 10 years before they access care.” Agreeing that the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) is “the integrated behavioral health model with the strongest evidence base to effectively address the needs of our mental health care system,” MMHPI and the UT–Austin Dell Medical School’s roundtable investigated ways to enable implementation of CoCM in order to make it easier for children and adolescents to access mental healthcare in a timely manner.

Topics covered by the white paper include (1) characteristics of the pediatric CoCM treatment population; (2) the work of the behavioral health care manager; (3) pediatric CoCM engagement with patient, family, pediatrician, and school; (4) operational feasibility and sustainability; and (5) evaluation of pediatric CoCM outcomes.

The white paper concludes, “[T]here was consensus among participants that pediatric CoCM is being successfully implemented nationwide and that it is an immediately actionable and practical solution to the current pediatric mental health crisis. The roundtable and its associated findings are important initial steps to providing clarity around best practices for scaling pediatric CoCM implementation.”