National Network of Child Psychiatry Access Programs
Why a National Network?
Why a National Network?
Throughout the country, there is a shortage of mental health providers, especially child psychiatrists. Collaborative programs, through which child psychiatrists support pediatricians and other primary care providers via phone consultations or other types of “curbside consultations,”are a promising approach to leverage our existing supply of child psychiatrists to provide mental health services to children and youth.
The National Network of Child Psychiatry Access Programs (NNCPAP) will promote synergy, avoid duplication of efforts, and promote use of best practices within regional and state consultation programs. Through joint work and cross-program collaboration, we will have enhanced ability to identify the benefits of these programs and address challenges and problems quickly.
Using the resources established by the network, we expect that we will foster the development of consultation programs in areas that would otherwise have difficulty finding the resources to start or sustain them.
The network supports the emerging “medical home” model, allowing most care to be provided in the relatively low-cost primary care setting. The network promotes the reach of these programs to primary care practices throughout the country.
In 2004, the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (“MBHP”) adapted TCPS into the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (“MCPAP”). MCPAP facilitates the statewide implementation of the program and addresses the shortage of child mental health professional across Massachusetts. MBHP developed MCPAP to support efficient diagnosis and treatment of mild to moderate mental health issues within primary care with the support of statewide telephonic child psychiatry consultation service and care coordination. With legislative approval, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (“DMH”) funded MBHP to contract for a statewide establishment of six regional teams in 2004-2005. MCPAP consequently became the first statewide child psychiatry access consultative program in the United States. Child psychiatrist Barry Sarvet, M.D. et. al, published the participation and utilization results for the first few years of MCPAP operation in the journal Pediatrics.
Because of MCPAP’s success, variations of the MCPAP model have been replicated in over 20 states, and MCPAP staff has often been asked to provide technical assistance to support the development of the model in other states. In 2011, a core group of national leaders dedicated to pediatrics and child psychiatry established the National Network of Child Psychiatry Access Programs as an informal association to support existing and emerging child psychiatry consultation programs and further national progress toward effective integration of mental health with primary care. This association officially incorporated on October 20, 2014 as the National Network of Child Psychiatry Access Programs, Inc. (“NNCPAP” or the “Organization”), a Massachusetts nonprofit organization, in accordance with Chapter 180 of the Massachusetts General Laws. In carrying out its charitable mission, NNCPAP serves as a clearinghouse of resources for child psychiatry consultation programs across the country; facilitating relationships and effective communication among mental health and psychiatry access programs designed to address the mental health needs of children and adolescents within the primary care setting. Currently, NNCPAP fulfills its charitable mission through the generous and voluntary support of state and federal mental health and psychiatry access programs whose functions align with the Organization’s charitable mission to address child and adolescent mental health needs. NNCPAP incorporated to form an official membership organization and to provide organized technical support to new programs and administrative support to keep its network organized and updated on the activities of all of its members.