Up to a quarter of children and adolescents in the United States are thought to have an emotional or behavioral disorder, however, many children and adolescents do not receive needed treatment. Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen a dramatic increase in mental health concerns among youth. However, many of these children continue to lack access to necessary mental health treatment in their communities. Due to their relationship with families and the continuity of care they provide across the childhood years, those who see children in the pediatric primary care setting are in a unique position to address these needs. I am calling on you to increase your efforts to identify and treat children’s mental health. Together with Maryland Behavioral Health Integration in Pediatric Primary Care (BHIPP), you can support children with mental health needs and provide them with the treatment they need to improve their quality of life and avoid mental health crises. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of children and families in Maryland.
Maria Rodowski-Stanco, MD
Director of Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Services
Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration