May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Year after year, more and more Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. Despite their age, many young children show early signs of mental illness. These mental health problems are often clinically diagnosable, and can be a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors. “Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24. Unfortunately, less than 20% of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need. One in 10 young people experiences a period of major depression” (MentalHealth.gov, 2017).
Timely mental health interventions at an early age can aid a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs. These factors are why we at Texas Children’s Health Plan deem it vitally important to provide mental health education and resources to support our members and provider network. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which has been observed in the United States since 1949 (MentalHealthAmerica.net, 2018). Throughout the month, Texas Children’s Health Plan is placing a focus on increasing awareness of mental health. Our goal is to fight the stigma associated with mental illness, provide support, and educate the public in ways that benefit our providers, members with mental illness, and their families.
We have compiled a list of resources that will assist providers in the treatment and education of our member network. Learn more below.
This screening tool is a multipurpose instrument for screening, diagnosing, monitoring, and measuring the severity of depression. The questionnaire incorporates diagnostic criteria of major depressive disorder into a brief self-report tool. The screening is a billable service for in-network providers who utilize this tool as a part of treatment. Case managers with Texas Children’s Health Plan may reach out to providers and inquire about reviewing the PHQ-9 or any of the stoplight tools in an effort to better serve members and coordinate appropriate resources.
Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9)
Depression Self Management Plan
Texas Children’s Health Plan Resources
Arc of Greater Houston Resources
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Texas Children’s Health Plan Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Hotline 1-800-731-8528