Minnesota Pediatric Mental Health Access Program
The Minnesota Pediatric Mental Health Access Program is aimed at promoting consultation, training, and support to pediatric primary care and other providers so that children's mental health needs are met.
Childhood and adolescence lay the framework for lifelong mental health outcomes. During these crucial developmental stages, screening, evaluation, assessment, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment of mental health issues is critical for preservation of emotional well-being later in life. An estimated 20% of Minnesota children and youth (0-17 years old) have a diagnosed mental or behavioral health condition, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated many of these mental health concerns. For many children and their families, mental health treatment can offer hope for improvement in quality of life and positive outcomes.
Minnesota's project is working to build the skills and knowledge of pediatric primary care providers to make sure they can confidently screen for and respond to mental health concerns in children and adolescents. We are working to enhance and expand the reach of Minnesota's statewide Psychiatric Assistance Line (PAL) and FastTracker resources. The project's goals include:
- Cultivate Collaborative Leadership: Supporting a collaborative leadership structure where decision-making power is shared.
- Enhance Psychiatric Assistance Line: Improving the quality and reach of Minnesota's Psychiatric Assistance Line (PAL) to provide mental health consultations and referrals via telehealth.
- Increase Primary Care Provider Capacity: Increasing the capacity of primary care providers to screen for and respond to mental health concerns in culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate ways.
- Coordinate Centralized Resources: Coordinating and enhancing centralized resource directories to increase easeful access to mental health services and supports.
- Minnesota's Psychiatric Assistance Line (PAL): Free service available to health professionals. Any healthcare provider can call for mental health triage and referral, or for a consultation with a Board-Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist regarding a patient. Available Monday through Friday from 8:00am – 6:00pm. Providers can call the line at 855-431-6468 or can schedule a consultation using an online form. *Please note that this service is only intended for health professionals, not the general public.
- FastTrackerMN.org: A dynamic online search tool that gives Minnesotans access to real time information and availability of behavioral health services and supports.