When a pediatrician refers a child to mental health services, often times the child never ends up receiving the counseling for a variety of reasons. However, when the child can access these services within the pediatrician's office, they are much more likely to follow through with the referral and treatment according to new research. In a study from the University of Pittsburgh, approximately 77% of the children who received onsite counseling completed their treatment sessions, as opposed to only 12% of children receiving outside referrals. Providing integrative care not only helps to remove the stigma still associated with mental health services, but also capitalizes on the convenience and familiarity of the pediatrician's office, as noted by the researchers.
What do you think are the benefits and challenges to offering integrated medical and mental health services in pediatrician's offices?