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Amy Kelly gives a voice to families through American Board of Pediatrics Foundation project

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Director of Family and Community Services Amy Kelly was recently selected to participate in a new mental health initiative sponsored by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP).  

The year-long project, titled, “Developing a Roadmap to Support the Emotional and Mental Health Needs of Patients with Chronic Illness and their Families,” focuses on better understanding the emotional support and mental health needs of patients and families dealing with a chronic illness. The goal is to raise awareness about these needs, provide support strategies and measure the impact of these issues on individuals and families. The ABP promotes excellence in medical care for children and adolescents.

Kelly was selected to be part of this project as a result of her involvement in autism and mental health groups, including the Autism Learning Network and the Learning Networks Community Collaborative. 

“My role is to serve as a voice to the experience that families and individuals living with autism spectrum disorder encounter regarding the emotional challenges, mental health difficulties and available resources that are, or are not, available,” Kelly explained. 

About the project …

The prevalence of behavioral and mental health conditions in children, adolescents and young adults has increased over the last several decades. However, in 2013, just 65 percent of pediatricians surveyed by the American Academy of Pediatrics indicated they lacked the necessary training to recognize various mental health issues. Addressing this problem became one of ABP’s top priorities and resulted in the creation of the “Developing a Roadmap to Support the Emotional and Mental Health Needs of Patients with Chronic Illness and their Families” initiative.

ABP will use collaborative learning – and will draw on enhancements in science – to address the emotional support and mental health needs of patients and families dealing with chronic illness. Specifically, the project will result in new strategies and tools to better support individuals and families, along with metrics to monitor the implementation of any changes/outcomes. 

“Ultimately, we will monitor these efforts to improve resources and mental health conditions for patients and families,” said Kelly. 

Kelly joins distinguished pediatricians in education, research and clinical practice, as well as non-physicians who have an interest in the health and welfare of children and adolescents. Just a few organizations involved in this effort include: the Autism Treatment Network, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Learning Network, Sickle Cell Treatment and Outcomes Research Network of the Midwest, National Alliance on Mental Illness and the American Academy of Psychiatry. 

Reducing the stigma of mental health issues

Through this partnership with the ABP, Kelly aims to educate pediatricians and others about autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the extensive services Devereux provides to tens of thousands of children, adults – and their families – every year. 

“I feel honored to participate on this important and innovative project, and I am excited to bring a face to autism and Devereux,” noted Kelly, who has a daughter with autism. “My goal is to represent autism and intellectual disabilities in a strong and impactful manner, help reduce the stigma of mental health issues, and assist families who are trying to navigate through the mental health system.”  

About Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations providing services, insight, and leadership in the evolving field of behavioral health care. Founded in 1912 by special education pioneer Helena Devereux, the nonprofit operates a comprehensive national network of clinical, therapeutic, educational and employment programs and services that positively impact the lives of tens of thousands of children, adults and their families every year.

Learn about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.

 

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