Mental Health

All Articles in the Category ‘Mental Health’

Empowering Primary Care Providers to Support Mental and Behavioral Health

Seattle Children’s Care Network (SCCN) Integrated Behavioral Health Program helps kids receive behavioral health services from specialists embedded in their primary care clinic.

Seattle Children’s has teamed up with primary care pediatricians in the Puget Sound region to implement a new approach to address the growing youth mental health crisis.

Seattle Children’s Care Network (SCCN) and Seattle Children’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine launched a Pediatric Integrated Behavioral Health Program in 2020 to provide children and their families with the mental and behavioral health support they need earlier and closer to home.

The innovative program aims to empower primary care teams to identify, manage and coordinate mental and behavioral health services within their community settings with the long-term goal of alleviating pressure on hospitals and specialty care practices.

“We know we can make a difference for a significant number of kids with mental and behavioral health conditions,” said Dr. Sheryl Morelli, chief medical officer for Seattle Children’s Care Network. “By screening and treating kids in primary care, when appropriate, more kids can receive treatment and we can create capacity in the system. The program takes a bigger, population health approach to meeting the behavioral mental health need of kids in our community.”

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Feeling Blue? What Parents Should Know About Seasonal Sadness in Kids and Teens

Winter can be a blue time of year for people of all ages, particularly as the days get shorter, darker and colder. These ‘winter blues’ can include feeling seasonally sad, irritable or fatigued, and can sometimes cause a decline in mood and motivation.

While it’s normal for all children to experience emotional ups and downs, including the winter blues, at least one in five kids will have a diagnosable mental health problem that needs treatment.

“People have high expectations around the holidays,” said Dr. Elizabeth McCauley, associate director of Seattle Children’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. “And sometimes those expectations are too high for what the holidays will bring. You get a mental image that things are supposed to be perfect, like in a story book. But the reality can be more down to earth.”

Here are some supportive ways that parents and caregivers can help their child or teen cope this winter, while staying alert to the signs and symptoms of mental health concerns that require expert care.

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Helping Children and Teens Cope with Anxiety

Kendra L. Read, PhD, Attending Psychologist, Seattle Children’s

The pandemic has been difficult for many of us, especially for children and teens. Not only are children grappling with the challenges that naturally occur during formative years, but the weight of recent events has exacerbated mental health issues. At alarming rates, youth are reporting feelings of depression and anxiety. Read full post »

Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center Re-Opens with a Remodeled Space and In-Person Classes

Just in time for Autism Acceptance Month, the Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center (ABC), which offers lifelong learning for people 18+ with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, reopened its expanded doors in late March, rolling out in-person classes for the first time since the COVID pandemic began.   

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Legislative Wins for Child and Youth Behavioral Health in Washington State

The 2022 Washington State Legislative session concluded in mid-March, after a whirlwind 60-day session. This was a historic session for many reasons, especially for child and youth behavioral health.  There has been a growing focus on the national youth mental health crisis over the past year, and we are thrilled at the investment and commitment demonstrated in the legislature.  Read full post »

HHS Secretary Admiral Levine Visits Seattle Children’s to Discuss Youth Mental Health Crisis

Admiral Rachel L. Levine, MD, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, made a rare visit to Seattle Children’s on Tuesday. Her visit included a tour of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit (PBMU), Emergency Department and the Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic.   Read full post »

Seattle Children’s Research Division: Celebrating 15 Years of Innovation

For the past 15 years, Seattle Children’s Research Division has been at the forefront of breakthrough innovations. From new drugs to treat cystic fibrosis, to first-in-the-nation use of laser ablation for epilepsy and brain tumors to remove unwanted cells, the research division is advancing our mission to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible.

Here, we take a look at some of the achievements of the past decade-and-a-half.

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Tips for In-person School Success from an Educator and Dad

Seattle Children’s Education Department provides free services for students who will be in the hospital for at least one week. The teachers are certified by the state of Washington in both general and special education. They’re experts at supporting kids and their families when children and teens are suddenly out of school and as they transition back into school after an extended absence. Scott Hampton, manager of K-12 Education Services and father of three, sat down with On the Pulse to share advice to support families in the community as they settle back into in-person learning in this new school year. Read full post »

Eight Ways to Reduce Back-to-School Worries

Whether you’re in the “I need school to start now!” camp or the “Summer just started” camp, the fact is that the new school year is approaching quickly. Every year, back-to-school time is met with emotions ranging from excitement to nervousness or fear, but this year that’s even more true for students and families. Dr. Kendra Read, director of the Mood and Anxiety Program at Seattle Children’s, offers ways to reduce back-to-school worries as you support your child’s return to in-person learning.

“Uncertainty is often hard to tolerate and times of transition in the midst of uncertainty are that much harder,” Read said.

Here is some advice from Read to help navigate these trying times: Read full post »

Dr. Gina Sequeira Discusses Gender Identity and Explains How Caregivers Can Support Gender-Diverse Children

This week, JAMA Pediatrics published an article by Dr. Gina Sequeira, co-director of Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic, about gender identity. In the article, Sequeira discusses what gender identity is, explains gender related terms, and offers recommendations to caregivers to help them support gender-diverse children.

Gender identity is unique to each person and is used to describe a person’s internal sense of being male, female, some of both or neither, Sequeira says. Terms like transgender and gender-diverse, may be used to describe individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. Recent estimates suggest as many as 10% of high school aged youth have a gender identity that differs from their sex assigned at birth. Read full post »