Children need more access to mental health care, and a new statewide program is aiming to achieve that. Virginia psychiatrists confirm that access to any health care is a growing problem, as many families wait weeks to months for a simple appointment and some having to drive long distances.

The new program is known as VMAP, the Virginia Mental health Access Program opens in a new window. Health experts have teamed up with other experts modeling their steps after other states.

The main goal is to give support to primary care doctors in two main areas. The program will mainly provide mental health training to screen, diagnose and managing issues, along with allowing physicians to consult child psychiatrists over the phone.

The idea behind the program is to allow PCPs to counsel children dealing with depression opens in a new window, anxiety or ADHD if they were unsuccessful in getting an appointment with a child psychiatrist.

Head child and adolescent psychiatry at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Dr. Felicity Adams, will be one of the many doctors giving consultations over the phone with physicians all over southwest Virginia.

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