U.S. News and World Report highlighted a recent Boston Children's Hospital study that marked a substantial increase in pediatric patients presenting in hospital emergency rooms for mental health-related issues. The study confirmed what other hospitals in the nation are experiencing regarding increased demand for pediatric mental health care.
The influx of young patients is a direct result of COVID-19-related isolation issues and other mental health admissions for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, self-harm, and other disorders sparked by the pandemic. The study highlighted the strain this situation places on an already overburdened system, compounded by a backlog of children and teens being boarded in emergency rooms, often waiting days for a behavioral health care specialist appointment to be available.
Array is uniquely positioned to provide virtual psychiatry in such circumstances. Our clinicians offer an important service along the behavioral health continuum of care, helping hospitals by attending to patients in acute care situations, reducing the length of stay, providing post-discharge care, and reducing inappropriate admissions by offering timely access to quality care from licensed mental health specialists. Early intervention for mental health care can avoid costly hospitalizations for pediatric patients and their families.
In response to the youth mental health crisis, Array Behavioral Care hosted a panel discussion on the alarming rise in the number and acuity of pediatric behavioral health presentations to hospital emergency departments across the country.
The panel brought together the nation’s leading experts from Array Behavioral Care, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Chester County Hospital/Penn Medicine to discuss the underlying factors that contribute to the increased demand for pediatric behavioral health care, the clinical and operational implications of managing these patients in acute care settings, and the potential upstream and downstream interventions and strategies to help address this problem.
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