Journalists: For links to video and audio files, see the bottom of this post.
The shortage of psychiatrists across the United States is so dire that presenter, Peter Jensen, M.D. at Mayo Clinic, says if he and all of the child psychiatrists in the country saw every child with a mental health problem – they’d only be able to spend one hour treating each one per year.
So what happens to these children? They’re often treated by primary care doctors who aren’t trained in psychiatry or mental health. To remedy the problem, Dr. Jensen and his colleagues developed a program to train primary care physicians to handle psychiatric issues such as depression and anxiety.
Jensen presented his work during a poster session today in Toronto at the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry meeting. The six-month program includes weekly consultations with other primary care doctors and psychiatrists – a process much more intense than many continuing medical education programs.
The program debuted in Minnesota and has spread throughout the United States. He’s already facilitated 30-plus training sessions and has more on tap in the near future.
Journalists: The following video and audio clip with Dr. Jensen describing the scope of the problem is available for download and use in your stories.
Below is a link to an edited youtube video with Dr. Jensen that you can embed with your stories.