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