Adolescent Behavioral Health Program
The Adolescent Behavioral Health (ABH) Project stems from the tragic events of 2009 and 2010 when the City of Palo Alto was rattled by a rash of teen suicides. In the aftermath of these tragedies our leaders, physicians, researchers and administrators came together to launch this 5.5 year pilot project, taking concrete steps to find better ways of screening, diagnosing and treating the behavioral health needs of more than 75,000 teen patients throughout the PAMF health care system.
Now in its second year, working in conjunction with Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation, the Palo Alto Unified School District, Lucille Packard Children's Hospital and the HEARD Alliance, the ABH Project is beginning to make a real impact in the community. The pilot has three phases:
- Strengthening the role of primary care physicians to more effectively screen, diagnose and treat teens with behavioral health issues, and refer these patients when appropriate, leading to earlier intervention. (In progress)
- Behavioral Health Navigators providing patients and physicians referrals to additional personalized services either within PAMF or the greater community to match the needs of the patient and family. (In progress 2014)
- Introduction of a "Behavioral Health Care Manager" to manage a specific caseload of teens with behavioral health conditions, working directly with patients and physicians as a key member of the treatment team. (Beginning Summer 2015)