TYLER, Texas — East Texas pediatricians and primary care providers have a new ally to address behavioral and mental health issues for their child and adolescent patients, according to the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.
"Overall we have a shortage of mental health providers and resources in Northeast Texas and an even greater shortage for children access and resources specifically psychiatrist and therapist," Laura Young, registered nurse and senior program manager for the Child Psychiatry Access Network, said.
The program begins Sept. 14. CPAN will help doctors through East Texas with resources such as psychiatrists and licensed mental health therapists to assist them with treating mental health issues with their patients.
"The way that works is those providers can call into a centralized phone number and speak directly to a therapist or a psychiatrist that specializes in serving children," Young said.
According to CPAN, calls are quickly answered and are directed to the appropriate professional to meet the healthcare provider and patient needs.
"So they don’t need to necessarily refer them out to another provider or have that family transport that child outside the community to get services they can actually have those same services with their provider," she said.
East Texas pediatricians and healthcare providers can call the central CPAN phone number at (888) 901-CPAN (2726) and, after a simple enrollment process, can connect within 30 minutes with a child and adolescent psychiatric specialist in their region. CPAN in East Texas serves the 25-county northeast region of Texas.
For more information, email CPAN at CPANinfo@uthct.edu.