AAP supports increased funding for pediatric mental health services

The AAP responds to a request from the Senate Finance Committee regarding our nation’s mental health system.

In the wake of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the Administration and Congress are looking for ways to improve our nation’s mental health system. Exposure to violence causes toxic stress in childhood, which can have long-term negative effects on children. Managing adult mental health disorders begins with ensuring that children have access to quality mental health services.

The AAP recommends Medicaid payment policy changes in the following three areas to improve children’s mental health care: 1) enhancing the ability of primary care clinicians to provide mental health services in their practices, 2) supporting the co-location of mental health professionals in pediatric practices, and 3) supporting other enhancements to community-based prevention, identification, and treatment of mental health conditions in children.

Learn about toxic stress and the long-term negative effects.

 Read more about the AAP’s position.

Katie Maddox, MD

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