Project TEACH is a statewide organization in New York working to provide children and families with skilled, prompt and compassionate care for mental health conditions while strengthening and supporting the ability of New York’s pediatric primary care providers (PCPs) to deliver care to children and families who experience mild-to-moderate mental health concerns.
All pediatric primary care providers (PCPs) who treat children, adolescents and young adults in New York are eligible to receive Project TEACH services at no cost thanks to funding from the New York State Office of Mental Health. Beneficiaries include pediatricians, family physicians, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and other prescribers. Additionally, other mental health professionals who provide ongoing treatment to children (such as child and adolescent psychiatrists, general psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurse practitioners) may request a second opinion through consultations.
What Patient Services Are Available?
Services include consultations (plus consultations), the ability to ask questions through a Project TEACH Liason Coordinator to find the appropriate resource for the PCP; and tracking down referrals and linkages for appropriate and accessible community mental health for patients and families. Psychiatrists working with Project TEACH can also provide appropriate support when there are long wait times for community referrals.
Project TEACH does not provide crisis services or evaluations for emergencies, but can refer severe or urgent cases to appropriate emergency services and parents are not able to contact Project REACH directly either, they are encouraged to contact their PCP for services.
Any New York State PCP may call for a consultation with a Project TEACH child and adolescent psychiatrist, regardless of the type of insurance that the patient has. When a face-to-face consultation is provided, families with insurance may be billed.
The following scenarios may result from a telephone consultation through Project TEACH. The child and adolescent psychiatrist may:
- Answer questions from the PCP over the telephone.
- Request to see the patient for a face-to-face evaluation in order to answer the PCP’s questions. Face-to-face evaluations are also available by telepsychiatry for patients who live more than one hour away from the closest Project TEACH site and or do not have access to transportation.
- Refer the PCP to the liaison coordinator for information about resources in the community.
- Refer severe or urgent cases to appropriate emergency or other community services.
The expectation is that face-to-face consultations will occur within two weeks of the requests. All face-to-face consultations are followed by written reports to the referring prescriber(s) within 48 hours. A written summary is not provided following phone consultations.
A NYS PCP can ask a question about any case involving children and adolescents up to age 21. Questions can relate to a particular patient, diagnosis and treatment for a specific mental health disorder, pertain to medications and treatment strategies, or be more general inquiries about child psychiatry and behavioral health. Project TEACH liaison coordinators can assist in identifying appropriate specialty referral resources and linkages for patients and families.
What Provider Services Are Available?
Project TEACH offers education for providers in a variety of formats, from basic online sessions to live, multi-day intensive trainings. Educational opportunities include training on core topics of ADHD, aggression, anxiety and depression. This training is free to any New York State PCP. See a list of educational opportunities here.
Core trainings are led by Project Teach’s regional provider teams on-site at practices or nearby locations. Core trainings can be provided through a series of two- or three-hour sessions, or in one longer program depending on a practice’s needs. The group’s regional provider teams cover assessment and management of the important mental health issues that children and adolescents face. The program also offers specialized, in-depth “live intensive trainings” in each region. These trainings address how to recognize, assess and manage mild to moderate mental health concerns in children and adolescents.
The organization additionally provides free access to on-demand content through its online learning management system. Sessions focus on a variety of topics related to mental health in children and youth. Courses include everything from screening in primary care to marijuana in kids.
How To Get Started
There are two easy ways to get started with Project TEACH. Enroll your practice either by filling out the enrollment form on the website, or by calling the regional Project TEACH team in your area directly. You can find Regional Team information here.
Project TEACH services are delivered in every region of New York State. See the regional map to locate the Project TEACH team in your county. Click here to learn more about Project TEACH’s Maternal Depression Conference, Oct. 12, in Albany.