Duke Integrated Pediatric Mental Health: An Initiative Supported by The Duke Endowment


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Nationally, one in ten children suffers from an impairing emotional or behavioral disorder; however, less than one quarter of children with an impairing psychiatric disorder receive any mental health services, and even fewer receive effective services.

With generous support from The Duke Endowment, the Duke Integrated Pediatric Mental Health (IPMH) Initiative is a Duke and Durham Community Collaborative aimed at identifying discontinuities of care for children and building the foundation for an innovative continuum of care to improve children’s mental health. In addition, the Duke IPMH Initiative is designed to reduce the need for intensive hospital-based care, and improve school attendance and academic performance. The Initiative also represents a collaborative effort between the Duke Division of Child and Family Mental Health and Developmental Neuroscience, Duke University Health System, Durham Public Schools, the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, the Northern Piedmont Community Care Network, and state and local mental health systems of care.

The objective of the Duke IPMH Initiative is to improve access to timely, appropriate, and high quality mental health care for children in Durham by:

  1. ASSESSING current pediatric mental health care across health, mental health, and educational systems of care and identifying gaps in care by establishing and maintaining an effective and sustainable collaboration with community agencies, services, and systems of care.
  2. ENHANCING pediatric mental health knowledge through professional development of emergency care providers to ensure effective management of pediatric patients who present for psychiatric care in the Duke Emergency Department (ED).
  3. IMPLEMENTING strategies designed to address discontinuities of care and improve transition of care between systems for children in Durham. Specifically, the Duke IPMH Initiative aims to establish and maintain an effective and sustainable collaboration with local schools, including the Durham Public Schools system, and by developing targeted training for teachers and school-based staff.

In collaboration with community partners, our central goal is to enable the Durham community to become a national model for effective and collaborative pediatric mental health care within integrated educational and health systems.

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