Core Pediatric Mental Health Competencies: Practice Enhancements

Pediatricians providing care to children and adolescents can improve the quality of their practice’s (and network’s) mental health services by developing competence in performing the following activities
 Establish collaborative and consultative relationships—within the practice, virtually, or off-site—and define respective roles in assessment, treatment, coordination of care, exchange of information, and family support
 Build a practice team culture around a shared commitment to embrace mental health care as integral to pediatric practice and an understanding of the impact of trauma on child well-being
 Establish systems within the practice (and network) to support mental health services; elements may include the following:
  Preparation of office staff and professionals to create an environment of respect, agency, confidentiality, safety, and trauma-informed care;
  Preparation of office staff and professionals to identify and manage patients with suicide risk and other mental health emergencies;
  Electronic health record prompts and culturally and/or linguistically appropriate educational materials to facilitate offering anticipatory guidance and to educate youth and families on mental health and substance use topics and resources;
  Routines for gathering the patient’s and family’s psychosocial history, conducting psychosocial and/or behavioral assessment;
  Registries, evidence-based protocols, and monitoring and/or tracking mechanisms for patients with positive psychosocial screen results, adverse childhood experiences and social determinants of health, behavioral risks, and mental health problems;
  Directory of mental health and substance use disorder referral sources, school-based resources, and parenting and family support resources in the region;
  Mechanisms for coordinating the care provided by all collaborating providers through standardized communication; and
  Tools for facilitating coding and billing specific to mental health.
 Systematically analyze the practice by using quality improvement methods with the goal of mental health practice improvement