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If you are ever concerned that the emotional issues your child is facing are severe enough to risk suicide or injury to self or others, please seek immediate medical attention at an emergency facility (we recommend Children's Hospital Colorado whenever possible) or call 911.
Have Emotional or Mental Health Concerns?
If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our providers to evaluate an emotional issue your child is facing, please call our Nurse Advice Line at 303-699-6200 option 2. One of our registered nurses will speak with you to assess the situation, so that she may schedule the appropriate consultation visit.
Emotional / Mental Health
As children pass through childhood and adolescence they may experience a few bumps along the way. Sometimes children experience feelings or display behaviors that cause problems in their lives and the lives of those around them. Families often worry when their child or teenager has difficulty coping with things, feels depressed, can't sleep, shows signs of an eating disorder, gets involved with drugs and/or alcohol, or can't get along with family or friends. If your child is experiencing any of these or other emotional problems, the providers at Advanced Pediatrics would like to help.
If you are concerned about your child's emotional or mental health, please call our patient care line and speak with one of our registered nurses. Our registered nurses will ask you a number of questions regarding the issues your child is facing and make a recommendation for the best type of appointment for your child. In most cases, our nurses will schedule an "Initial Behavioral Assessment" with one of our providers. However, based upon their assessment of your child's situation, they may instead recommend one of the following appointments:
- Anxiety Consultation
- Depression Consultation
- ADHD Evaluation
- Physical Exam
What is an Initial Behavioral Assessment?
The "Initial Behavioral Assessment" appointment is a first visit to discuss the issue(s) that concern you about your child. Before this visit you will be asked to fill out a one-page questionnaire to give us some basic information about your concerns. During the visit your provider will review this information with you to help determine if these concerns are everyday challenges, a passing phase, or a more serious issue. A recommendation will then be made to either treat your child within our practice, or refer him or her to an appropriate mental health provider that can provide further assessment, counseling and treatment.
If you have already scheduled an "Initial Behavioral Assessment Visit" with one of our providers, please download and print the following and bring the completed questionnaire to your visit.
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Issues We May Treat
Our mental health task force committee regularly reviews the latest developments in treating pediatric emotional and mental health issues within the primary care setting and establishes protocols for our providers to follow so that care is consistent. Depending on the severity of the situation and how well a patient responds to treatment, our providers normally treat the following emotional / mental health and behavior issues within our practice:
- Behavioral and Adjustment Issues
- Simple Depression
- Mild Anxiety Disorders
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Referrals to Specialists
Some mental health issues are beyond the scope of general pediatrics and are best treated by a specialist. We normally work in conjunction with mental health specialists for more complicated issues such as:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders)
- Bipolar Disorder, Manic Depressive Illness
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse
If we do refer your child to a mental health specialist, our providers can provide your family with a list of mental health providers in our area. For help in finding one who accepts your insurance, please see:
Ongoing communication between mental health specialists and your child's primary care providers at Advanced Pediatrics is very important to your child's long term health and well-being. If your child has been referred to a mental health specialist, or is currently seeing a mental health specialist, please complete the following form and give to your child's mental health specialist, so that he or she may share important medical information with our providers:
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Advanced Pediatrics Diagnostic Questionnaires / Forms
If you have been asked by one of our nurses or providers to fill out one of the following diagnostic forms, please download - print - and then return the completed form to our office according to the instructions given by the nurse or provider.
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Integrated Mental Health Counseling Project (Aurora office only)
Advanced Pediatrics has been working with Aurora Mental Health Center's Integrated Services Team by locating a mental health therapist at our Aurora office twice a week. Our providers work closely with the mental health therapist and, if appropriate, may suggest that the therapist join them for a portion of the patient visit. There is no additional charge for this brief consultation with the mental health therapist. The therapist may offer an initial assessment to the parents and make immediate suggestions that can be helpful, or may suggest follow up at either Advanced Pediatrics or by an outside mental health specialist. Occasionally, the therapist may schedule one or two follow-up sessions with her at our Aurora office. These follow-up sessions will be billed by Aurora Mental Health. Aurora Mental Health accepts most insurances (including Medicaid). Uninsured patients living within Aurora city limits may qualify for a sliding fee scale.
Integrated Mental Health Counseling is available as the result of a special grant and therapist availability is limited. As a result, initial counseling is only available at the request of our providers and may not be scheduled in advance. Based on the therapist's availability, our providers may elect to include the therapist in a scheduled visit at our office. This service is currently not available at our Centennial and Parker offices.
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Your Child: Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive Development from Birth through Preadolescence. AACAP, David Pruitt, MD, 1998.
Your Adolescent: Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive Development from Early Adolescence Through the Teen Years. AACAP, David Pruitt, MD, 1999.
Straight Talk About Your Child's Mental Health: What to Do When Something Seems Wrong. Stephen V. Faraone Phd, Guilford Press, 2003.
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Robert Voigt MD, FAAP. The American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.
Mental Health Naturally. Kathi J. Kemper, MD, FAAP. American Academy of Pediatrics, 2010.
Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Powerful, Practical Solutions to Overcome your Child's Fears, Worries, and Phobias. Chansky Tamar E. 2004.
Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents. Ronald Rapee Ph.D., Ann Wignall D. Psych., Susan Spence Ph.D., Heidi Lyneham Ph.D., Vanessa Cobham Ph.D., 2008.
Anxiety-Free Kids: An Interactive Guide for Parents and Children. Bonnie Zucker, 2008.
Seven Steps to Help Your Child Worry Less. Goldstein, Hagar & Brooks, Specialty Press, 2002.
The Anxiety Cure for Kids. Ed Spencer, 2003.
Helping your Depressed Child: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents. Barnard, Martha Underwood. 2003.
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. David D. Burns, M.D., 1999.
Anger / Opposition
Angry Children, Worried Parents: Seven Steps to Help Families Manage Anger. Goldstein, Brooks & Weiss, Specialty Press, 2004.
The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children. Ross Green, 2005.
Transforming the Difficult Child. Howard Glasser and Jennifer Easley, 2010.
Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking: Powerful, Practical Strategies to Build a Lifetime of Resilience, Flexibility, and Happiness. Tamar E. Chansky, 2008.
Nurturing Resilience in Our Children: Answers to the Most Important Parenting Questions. Brooks & Goldstein, McGraw-Hill, 2002.
A Parent's Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens. Kenneth Ginsburg, MD, and Martha Jablow. The American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.
Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings. Kenneth R. Ginsburg MD, FAAP. American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.
Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids, 3rd Ed. Wilens, Timothy E., Guilford Press, 2008.
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