primary care providers and child psychiatry
"More than 14 million children and adolescents in the United States, or 1 in 5, have a diagnosable mental health disorder that requires intervention or monitoring. The human and financial costs of emotional problems in children are both broad and deep; they affect the children and their families, schools, communities, employers, and the nation as a whole.
Pediatricians have long been an important first resource for parents who are worried about their children's behavioral problems, and today psychosocial problems are the most common chronic condition for pediatric visits, eclipsing asthma and heart disease."
--American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Mental Health 2005
"There is a dearth of child psychiatrists... Furthermore, many barriers remain that prevent children, teenagers, and their parents from seeking help from the small number of specially trained professionals... This places a burden on pediatricians, family physicians, and other gatekeepers to identify children for referral and treatment decisions."
--Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, 1999
"Even where I practice in Boston, which has the highest number of physicians per capita in the United States, the shortage of child psychiatrists is a crisis... I see kids everyday who are on waiting lists to see a psychiatrist, and they show up in my emergency department after they have had an emergency or been discharged from school. No one will prescribe their medication, and I don't have the training to manage complex psychiatric illnesses in children. This is really at crisis levels, and there are so many children suffering as a result."
--Samantha Rossman, MD Pediatric ER Physician testifying to AMA 2010