Cheers For Children 2016 Funding Initiative

100 percent of proceeds from Cheers For Children 2016 will benefit the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation. This year’s initiative will support the Child and Adolescent Integrated Mental Health Care Program.

The mental health needs of children and adolescents are often overlooked by medical and mental health providers. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) estimates that 70% of children and adolescents who are in need of treatment do not receive mental health services. Early identification and treatment of behavioral and mental health problems for children and adolescents can significantly reduce the possibility of long term problems and serious mental illnesses. Untreated mental health disorders can lead to school failure, family conflicts, drug abuse, violence and even suicide.

The Children’s Hospital of Michigan has piloted an innovative program for integrated mental health services for children and adolescents ages 6 to 21 who are seen in the General Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (GPAM) Outpatient Clinic. Michigan is one of eight states that do not have a mental health parity law, thus many families do not have coverage for mental health services.

The Integrated Care Mental Health Care Program insures a comprehensive approach to integrated care for the children and adolescents seen in the GPAM Outpatient Clinic. Integration of mental health services in the primary care setting help to reduce stigma and increase the possibility of greatest recovery by providing treatment at the earliest point in the illness. The integrated care model works to: increase the identification of children with mental health concerns, to reduce stigma associated with seeking services, to increase the willingness of families to receive services, and to improve mental health outcomes. The program provides education, behavioral health screening, mental health care and mental health referrals and follow-up. The program provides mental health treatment (therapy) on-site in the clinic for identified patients who do not have access or cannot overcome barriers to community-based mental health services. Educational materials about the importance of optimal mental health and preventive/early intervention strategies for behavioral health problems are provided to families.

For more information on these programs, please email staff@chmfoundation.org.

Kayla Varcoe