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James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

August 06, 2018

New York State Office of Mental Health Announces New Web-Based Training to Help Healthcare Providers Screen for and Treat Maternal Depression

Instructional Videos Part of Governor’s Initiative to Enhance Treatment of Maternal Depression

(ALBANY, NY) - The New York State Office of Mental Health today announced two new web-based training videos available to help healthcare providers effectively screen for and treat maternal depression during and after pregnancy. The free webinars, which are posted on the Office of Mental Health’s (OMH) Project TEACH website, are titled “Screening and Treatment of Postpartum Depression” and “Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression During Pregnancy.”

“Project TEACH gives New York's pediatric primary care providers the knowledge they need to treat children and families who experience mild-to-moderate mental health concerns," said OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan.  "By expanding Project TEACH to include education, training and consultation for maternal depression, we can dramatically increase the number of cases we can identify early on and treat successfully.

Pediatric primary care providers (PCPs) and family practice doctors are often the first place families go to seek help or information about emotional or behavioral concerns with their children. However, PCPs may not have access to consultation or the training needed to make decisions for children with mental health needs. OMH’s Project TEACH program provides healthcare providers with rapid consultation, education and training, as well as referral/ linkage services.

The maternal-focused webinars are part of Governor Cuomo’s multi-agency effort to combat maternal depression. The Governor has directed the Department of Financial Services to require all New York commercial health insurance policies to cover maternal depression screenings, including screening for the mother under the child's policy. 

Additionally, the Department of Health and Office of Mental Health launched a strategic awareness campaign to provide critical information about symptoms and treatment options for maternal depression. The Office of Mental Health has also opened its first State-operated intensive outpatient clinic program focused on maternal depression. These comprehensive actions will ensure that women in New York can access crucial screenings and treatment to combat maternal depression.

The new webinars have been added to the list of on-line courses on the Project TEACH website. Healthcare providers must create an account to view the webinars.

Project TEACH

Project TEACH, launched in 2009, allows pediatric primary care providers to ask questions about any of their cases involving children and adolescents up to age 21. Questions can be specific to a particular patient; diagnosis and treatment for a specific mental health disorder; use of a particular medication or other treatment strategy; or general questions about topics in child psychiatry and/or behavioral health.

Project TEACH provides:

Access to rapid consultation from child and adolescent psychiatrists
All pediatric PCPs are eligible to receive telephone consultation about their patients’ mental health needs. PCPs can also obtain direct consultation for their patients, either face–to-face with the child psychiatrist or via videoconference.

Access to education and training
Educational-based trainings are held regularly and on-site at pediatric PCP offices on a variety of topics related to children’s social and emotional development. CME credits are available to physicians for attending the training.

Access to referral and linkage services for their child and adolescent patients
Referral and linkage services assist families and pediatric PCPs to access community mental health and support services such as clinic treatment, case management, or family support.

Project TEACH services are available to all New York PCPs serving children and adolescents. Additionally, other prescribers who are providing ongoing treatment to children, such as Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, General Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, may request a second opinion through consultation.


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