Nemours pediatric practices to offer mental health services

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ORLANDO, Florida – A growing number of central Florida pediatric offices will soon be staffed with mental health professionals to address the crisis in children’s mental health.

A recent grant to Nemours Children’s Health will help create the one-year pilot program that Dr Thomas Lacy says will help remove barriers during the pandemic.

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“We are seeing a dramatic increase in depression and anxiety. Suicide has increased, ”Lacy said.

Lacy said Nemours will soon hire licensed mental health counselors to work in 15 to 16 pediatric offices in central Florida.

“If a child comes in with a problem and we determine that it is an emotional issue, we will have the option to bring that child to a counselor immediately, and that counselor can be in the office face to face,” they can be in another office that we can connect them through telehealth, ”Lacy said.

These visits will all take place in the comfort of the child’s pediatric office.

“Some people are stigmatized at the idea of ​​going to a counselor. This way you go to your pediatrician as you have done many times before. And again, it’s probably near us, ”Lacy said.

The goal is to start adding counselors in the spring of 2022. Lacy said it’s important for parents to trust their instincts when it comes to mental health.

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“If you feel like something is wrong, go see your doctor and talk about it and let’s try to help you figure out if there is (something wrong), Lacy said.

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