Adopted by Council on December, 2008
To be reviewed December, 2013

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry supports policies that promote mental health recovery as integral to overall health. Due to the shortage of child and adolescent mental health professionals, pediatric medical professionals are frequently called upon to assess and treat young patients with mental health disorders.

Safe and effective mental and physical health care requires collaboration and communication between child and adolescent psychiatrists and other medical professionals. Collaborative relationships must provide integrated care to maximize the pediatric and psychiatric caregivers’ knowledge and abilities, to facilitate alliances with families, and to work to overcome constraints within and beyond health care systems, such as reimbursement, time limitations and provider knowledge. Communication should occur following the initial evaluation, change in diagnosis or treatment, and throughout the treatment as indicated. The reasons for communication between professionals must be discussed with the family throughout the treatment. These services and appropriate payment for them must be included in any health insurance plan.