Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Recent Advances Shape the Future
Behavioral Health Insights
By Micah Hoffman, MD, DABPN, FAPA, QME, CIME, CHCQM
AllMed Behavioral Health Medical Director
Nearly one in five children in the United States has a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder in any given year.1 Yet, amid an ongoing shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists (CAPs), only half receive the specialized care they need.1 Despite this persistent gap, there are reasons for optimism. Innovative initiatives and wider use of telehealth are helping stretch limited resources and expand access to services. An increased focus on prevention is yielding new programs that teach young people coping skills. Finally, new medications are earning FDA approval to treat mental health conditions in children and adolescents. One of these is a non-stimulant ADHD drug that, for the first time, offers an alternative to children who cannot tolerate traditional stimulants.
This article, the first of three on child and adolescent psychiatry, focuses on these recent advances. Subsequent articles will discuss the nuances of referring CAP patients to the right level of care and the ramifications of child boarding in emergency rooms, a growing trend.
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