Times Union Editorial – Mental Health Training for Pediatricians

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Times Union Editorial – Mental Health Training for Pediatricians

Progress is needed

By The Florida Times-Union Editorial BoardPosted Dec 31, 2019 at 2:18 PM

Wednesday’ Editorial: Commentary on drunk driving, mental health and opioid crisis

Mental health first-aid

Jacksonville has too few child psychiatrists, so the city set up training sessions for pediatricians to consult with their patients and consult with psychiatrists when needed.

Pediatrician Jeff Goldhagen was instrumental in starting this project and getting federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The system of care is now in a new phase with a $4 million grant that will expand access to care for children and youth with mental illness.

We know that many children, especially in high-poverty neighborhoods, experience multiple traumas.

“We know that 1 in 5 children have an undiagnosed mental health issue,” said Vicki Waytowich, executive director of the Partnership for Child Health, which manages the system of care.

The new grant will provide more screening tools, techniques and training.

The Times-Union Editorial Page proposed widespread screening over a decade ago. Since that time interest in mental health locally often has waned, especially when compared to murders.

In a typical year, there are twice as many suicides as murders .


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