Pediatrician Perspectives on Children’s Access to Mental Health Services: Consequences and Potential Solutionsedit
This paper examines pediatricians’ perspectives regarding access to children’s mental health care. In response to a question about factors that help or hinder coordination of care 190 respondents voluminously wrote about mental health access barriers. Responses were qualitatively analyzed to understand pediatricians’ perspectives. Four thematic areas emerged: Insurance issues; availability of mental health specialty providers; state mental health systems; and pediatricians’ attempts to improve access to mental health services. Pediatricians’ responses included educating themselves, using telemedicine, and hiring co-located mental health specialists. Recommendations are made to address pediatricians’ treatment of children with mental illnesses and their access to treatment resources.