Certificate in Pediatric and Behavioral Health Integration

As children’s mental health continues to be a primary concern with rising levels of diagnosable conditions, pediatricians and nurse practitioners can make a critical difference in identifying concerns and helping families identify and pursue next steps. Yet, pediatric health practitioners may feel ill-prepared to engage their patients and their patients’ parents in this potentially pivotal discourse. Furthermore, separated systems of care may impede effective and time sensitive treatments for children and families. A recent report commissioned by the Subcommittee on Mental Health Interface with General Medicine of the Presidents New Freedom Commission on Mental Health stated, “Although mental and medical conditions are highly interconnected, medical and mental health care systems are separated in many ways that inhibit effective care.”

William James College is offering a Certificate in Pediatric and Behavioral Health Integration for both pediatric health practitioners and mental health practitioners seeking to develop an integrated approach to behavioral health in their practices. The certificate program will focus on developing practitioners’ skills related to their patients’ mental health needs, but will also focus on developing systems to support effective, sustainable integrated behavioral health care.

The Certificate program will launch in January, 2018 and will be hosted at William James College. The program will follow a blended model, with two days in residence, and online materials and discussion boards. This blended model will allow busy professionals to complete the Certificate expeditiously and in an appealing technology-enabled environment.

The curriculum and sessions will focus on topics including:

Module 1: Establishing an Integrated Structure

  • Defining the constructs of: how practice understands mental health; what are expectations of what it means to help a family in need of mental health services;
  • Developing effective systems of communication, consultation and collaboration between pediatric and mental health providers
  • Developing a sustainable integrated system within pediatric practices including protocols and procedures for care coordination

Module 2: Child and Adolescent Development and Mental Health

  • MD - Skills for holding conversations with families about emotional concerns
  • Mental health providers – skills related to working in an integrated setting
  • Infant mental health – working with young families
  • Disorders (neurobehavioral components, symptoms, diagnoses & treatment)

Module 3: Referrals and Follow-Up

  • How to best offer help and treatment for patients’ behavioral health needs
  • Facilitating the hand-off – internal and external resources
  • Access to mental health services – process of referral and matching
  • Following up with community providers