NAPNAP Revises Position Statement on Integration of Mental Health Care in Primary Care Settings

October 21st 2020
Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor
Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor

The revised position statement confirms that the holistic, family-centered, longitudinal approach of care delivered at the pediatric primary care level can lead to early identification of mental health issues and behavioral factors contributing to mental health issues of children.

The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) has revised its position statement on the integration of mental health care in primary care settings. The change was made because of the rise of mental health in the public health realm, according to the organization.

The revised position statement confirms that the holistic, family-centered, longitudinal approach of care delivered at the pediatric primary care level can lead to early identification of mental health issues and behavioral factors contributing to mental health issues of children. Further, pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses have the education and skills to meet the increasing demand for pediatric mental health care integration in primary care settings.

“There is a stigma associated with mental health that leads to a reluctance by families to talk to primary care providers about these concerns,” said NAPNAP president Jessica Peck, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL, FAANP, in a prepared statement. “Nurse practitioners in pediatric primary care need to treat every visit as an opportunity to screen a child’s mental health and provide families with the information and resources they need.”

In order to provide comprehensive mental and behavioral health services to all children and adolescents, pediatric-focused nurse practitioners should be guided by the position statement, according to NAPNAP, which recommends practices as follows:

  • Using a lifespan approach to provide mental and behavioral health promotion
  • Integrating research findings that optimize physical and mental health in childhood and adolescence, laying the foundation for physical and mental well-being in adulthood
  • Educating children and families about the early signs and symptoms of mental and behavioral health problems in primary care
  • Advocating for reimbursement policies that support parity for mental health services provided to children in primary care settings
  • Educating the public about pediatric mental health conditions and support legislative and other interdisciplinary efforts that aim to bolster children’s mental and behavioral health needs at the local, state, and federal levels

REFERENCE

NAPNAP revises position statement on integration of mental health care in primary care settings. NAPNAP [email]. Sent October 21, 2020. Accessed October 21, 2020.

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