Mental Health Resources
Developmental and behavioral problems can be subtle and difficult to assess in children. They often emerge in the context of family life, and frequently go unrecognized or untreated during health encounters. An estimated 70% of children with significant developmental and behavioral problems are not identified before school entry.
Parenthood, like childhood, is a developmental process. Each well-child visit presents opportunities for providers to help educate parents about their child’s development and to support effective parenting skills through anticipatory guidance.
The HealthCheck Training & Resource Center addresses mental health in several ways:
- With a secreening service and assessment component of the health supervision section of HealthCheck visits
- With a module on developmental and behavioral mental health that addresses: ages and stages of development, surveillance, screening tools, developmental checklists, and office practices
- With modules on Autism, Early Intervention, and Substance Use and Abuse
Local Resources and Toolkits
- Child & Adolescent Mental Health Resource Guide. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive listing of community behavioral health resources for children and adolescents in the District of Columbia.
- DC-Approved Child Mental Health Screening Tools (revised July 2021; pdf). DC Medicaid Managed Care Organizations are required to ensure annual mental health screenings by the beneficiaries' Primary Care Provider, using an approved screening tool. Also see the Domain-Specific Screening Tools crosswalk.
- Autism Spectrum Disorders Toolkit for Pediatric Primary Care Providers in the District of Columbia. This toolkit focuses specifically on supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families, by providing primary care providers with the tools to help families navigate the developmental disabilities landscape in Washington, DC.
- Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit and Primer for Pediatric Primary Care Providers. Users will also want to download Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) Translated into Languages Other than English.
- The Path to Wellness: Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (Tip sheet and Maternal Well-Being Plan): English version (updated December 2018) | Spanish version (created December 2018).
- The DC-MD-VA (DMV) Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) Resource Guide. A result of an ongoing collaboration between the DMV PMH Resource Guide Team and the community-based network of Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) Professionals and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) Survivors throughout DC, MD, and VA. This directory will assist healthcare providers, patients, and their families with obtaining specialized mental health evaluation and treatment during pregnancy and postpartum.
- School Behavioral Health in Washington, DC. In 2019, the District of Columbia (DC) launched the Comprehensive School-Based Behavioral Health Expansion in the city's public and public charter schools. Visit this webpage for more information about the behavioral health expansion and for a current list of CBO and DBH Clinicians in DC schools.
- Resource for Cross-Sector Collaborative Care. This document, available in English and Spanish, was created to improve referral systems between primary care, early childhood mental health, and early childhood education providers in DC to coordinate access to behavioral health services for children under the age of five.
- The Early Childhood Innovation Network (ECIN) is a local collaborative of health and education providers, community-based organizations, researchers, and advocates promoting resilience in families and children from pregnancy through age 5 in Washington, DC.
- DC MAP (Mental health Access in Pediatrics) is a program aimed at improving mental health integration within pediatric primary care by offering consultation and training to your practice to help you manage the mental health concerns of your patients and their families. The website offers links to consultation, referrals, education, and medication reviews.
- PCP Mental Health Education Resources from the Children’s National Hospital / MedStar Georgetown Mental Health Access Program Collaboration.
- The Immigrant Child Health Toolkit was created by the members of the Immigrant Child Health Committee of the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is intended for use by healthcare providers, social workers, and any others who care for immigrant children. Resources in the Toolkit include mental health and social service providers.
Share Your Feedback and Experiences
- For developmental milestones (2 months - 5 years), see CDC's Learn the Signs, Act Early Developmental Milestones.
- Improving Adolescent and Young Adult Health: Challenges and Opportunities Emerging from the Covid-19 Pandemic. This two-page brief offers strategies for advancing health care for AYAs during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. It includes a focus on preventive services and mental and behavioral health care, in the context of the pandemic.
- Read the new Department of Health Care Finance transmittal – Pediatric Mental Health and Maternal Depression Screening Coverage and Tools (approved 05/13/19). This transmittal discusses behavioral health in primary care as well as referral and provider resources.
- Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) Billing Resource and Materials.