In early 2015, the Children's Mental Health Campaign CMHC launched a multi-year project to gather data to define clearly the scope of issues that lead to Emergency Department (ED) boarding and to use that data to inform a set of solutions to the problem.
Based on this project, the Campaign began to study one solution: behavioral health urgent care for children. The model aims to provide children and adolescents with treatment outside of emergency departments, where children may wait hours or days for care, which is particularly important for children with ASD/IDD, as they are more likely than their neurotypical peers to come into contact with emergency responders and visit the ED for psychiatric concerns.
By intervening when a need may be "urgent" instead of an emergency, this model seeks to prevent emerging crises from escalating to emergencies, connecting children and adolescents to the care that they require earlier in the crisis.
Read our Report on Pediatric Behavioral Health Urgent Care, which includes considerations for meeting the needs of children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities.
Also check out this MassLive.com op-ed, featuring our work on the pediatric behavioral health urgent care project!