Mental Health: Promoting Patient, Family Resilience
By Laurel K. Leslie, MD, MPH
The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) supports pediatricians and pediatric trainees who are increasingly faced with challenges associated with promoting emotional health and resilience in children and adolescents, as well as diagnosing and treating behavioral and mental health problems.
Studies show that many pediatricians and pediatric trainees feel unprepared to adequately address the issues and concerns raised by the increasing mental health and neurodevelopmental needs of the pediatric population.
We’d like to call your attention to articles that were published in the ABP’s latest Annual Report. These explain the ABP’s efforts to help pediatricians and trainees better prepare to support patients and their families in the areas of behavioral and mental health since the ABP’s Strategic Planning Committee identified this area as the top strategic priority in 2014. We also offer insights and suggestions for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) activities for the practicing pediatrician, and describe how one pediatrician and his practice are helping their patients and families.
Behavioral and mental health issues aren’t always the primary reasons parents seek help. Children and their families who are coping with serious and/or chronic conditions often are also faced with depression, anxiety, and other conditions that affect mental and behavioral well-being. Helping patients and families develop and maintain resilience is the goal of the Roadmap Project, initiated by patients and families as part of the ABP’s strategic initiative on behavioral and mental health and funded by the ABP Foundation.
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ABP Foundation Behavioral and Mental Health
With support from the Learning Networks Program at the Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at Cincinnati Children's and parents, patients, and clinicians affiliated with eight learning collaborative networks, the Roadmap Project is creating a change package with videos and other tools to use in practice settings. These tools are currently targeting clinicians, parents, and patients in subspecialty collaborative learning networks. Our goal is to continue to add to these resources and spread to clinicians not affiliated with these networks.
We invite you to listen to what parents and clinicians have to say about the importance of attending to emotional health and resilience of children and their families and think together with us about how we can work to improve care for children with chronic medical conditions and their families:
About the Author
Laurel K. Leslie, MD, MPH, joined the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) in 2015 as Vice President for Research. Also a professor of medicine and pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, she has extensive research experience identifying, treating, and delivering health services to children and adolescents with medical, developmental, and mental health needs.