How an integrated care program led to a 60% decrease in youth depression symptoms

An integrated care model at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego led to a significant reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

Preliminary results for the Rady Children's "Transforming Mental Health" model showed a 62% reduction in symptoms of depression and a 44% in anxiety symptoms among patients, according to a March 26 news release from the system. 

The pilot program, established in 2020, screens children and adolescents for potential mental health concerns during regular visits. Patients identified as struggling with depression or anxiety can speak to a mental health professional in the same office, often on the same day. 

The easy access eliminates barriers to families accessing care on their own and cuts down on wait times, according to the release. 

The model allows pediatricians to walk down the hall and introduces families to a mental health provider in the office, Benjamin Maxwell, MD, division chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Rady Children's, said. 

"Families are already coming to a place that they trust, which enhances continuity of care and ultimately better outcomes," Dr. Maxwell said. 

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