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2018 Conference on Medical Student Education

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P10 Finding Resources and Developing Partnerships for Mental Health Through a School-Based Clinic for At-Risk Children (STU)

Susan Lajoie, DrPH, ARN; Amber Farrington

02/2/18 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Austin Grand Ballroom J-K

Children living in poverty are at relatively greater risk for experiencing anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues. School-based health clinics provide a safety net for vulnerable children. Pediatric patients are seen at school with their parents' permission and with minimal disruption to the school day and their education. The benefits are real; parents do not miss work and attendance for school and mental health sessions increase, thus potentially decreasing family stress levels. Multidisciplinary teams address the biopsychosocial needs of the child. School-based services in Gadsden County, Florida are funded by the Florida State University Dance Marathon proceeds, allowing medical and psychological services to be free of charge. Dance marathon is a national organization with over 300 programs through the Children's Miracle Network and underwrites many pediatric health programs. Clinicians and medical students partner with doctoral level counselors to address the mental health needs of elementary and middle schoolers. The Gadsden clinic program has funded a mental health counselor two days per week for 5 years and has demonstrated positive results for children who would otherwise not obtain services. Psychology students benefited as they were afforded required practicum hours for future licensure. This model offers a unique potential funding stream for pediatric patients residing in financially stressed communities and underscores the importance of cross-discipline collaborative relations to provide quality mental health services to students at risk.

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of providing mental health resources utilizing a multidisciplinary team approach for at risk pediatric patients.
  2. Identify common mental health diagnoses seen in a vulnerable pediatric population.
  3. Identify potential funding resources for pediatric mental health programs in a school based clinic setting.


Copyright 2018 by Society of Teachers of Family Medicine