Managing challenging behaviors in children

“There is a lot of research on what strategies are most effective in helping parents manage their children’s behavior. It is not complex for clinicians to learn these evidence-based principles and share them with parents, even in brief office visits,” explains Elena Man, MD, a board-certified pediatrician and faculty member at The REACH Institute.

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Navigating the ADHD stimulant medication shortage

“The ADHD stimulant medication shortage is affecting patients, families, pharmacists, and clinicians,” explains Andrew Adesman, MD, a developmental pediatrician specializing in ADHD.

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Sleep Smart: Back-to-School Edition

REACH faculty, Dr Kowatch, emphasizes that it’s essential for caregivers to recognize the challenges that can arise when transitioning from summer to a more structured school routine. “Parents have got to anticipate there may be an adjustment period for the first week or two.”

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How Social Media is Impacting Teens

The most important question that we can ask teens isn’t if they use social media, it’s how. Just last May, the Surgeon General’s advisory on social media use in youth exposed some shocking statistics: Among 13 to 17-year-olds, up to 95% use social media, with 35% saying they use social media “almost constantly.”

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Supporting mental health needs in rural areas

Rural healthcare providers can be overwhelmed—and understaffed with specialists. Discover how REACH inspired Elizabeth Wallis, M.D., to build a community to support her patients.

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ADHD medication “holidays”?

As summer rolls around, families may ask whether their children can have a “holiday” from their psychoactive medication, especially for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We asked Lawrence Amsel, MD, MPH, a REACH faculty member and associate professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, to lay out the pros and cons.

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Helping families deal with holiday stress

“In some ways the holidays this year will be harder than last year for many people,” said Deborah Buccino, MD, pediatrician and REACH board member. “Earlier, we had pretty clear-cut rules about what you could and could not do safely. This year, we have a lot more gray areas.”

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8 Tips for Working with Mental Health Therapists

Many patients who have mental health conditions need talk therapy in addition to the treatment you provide as the pediatric primary care provider (PCP). If you practice in an area where therapists are available, we hope you have developed referral relationships, as you learned in your REACH training. You may also see patients who are already working with a therapist.

In either case, the communication between you and the therapist makes a huge difference in the quality of care the two of you provide.

To learn how PCPs and therapists can collaborate to improve the mental health of children and adolescents, we talked with clinical psychologist Kevin Stark, PhD, a founder of The REACH Institute’s CATIE program, and pediatrician Hilary Bowers, MD, director of behavioral and mental health services at Children’s Primary Care Medical Group, a large pediatric practice in San Diego and Riverside counties in California.

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Getting through to difficult patients and families

It’s 10:30 Monday morning, and you’re 45 minutes behind. Earlier, you had to confront a receptionist about coming in late again. You have to get out today by 4:30 so you can get to your daughter’s softball game. Beating under all this stress is worry about your mom, who has been diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer.

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Helping patients through divorce

“Parents who are going through a divorce really want to believe their children are OK,” said Lisa Blum, PsyD, a licensed clinical therapist on the faculty of The REACH Institute’s CATIE program. “They’re terrified that they’re hurting their kids. So if Sally is doing her homework and Johnny isn’t acting out, the parents think, ‘Whew, good, they’re fine!’ But often they’re not fine.” Though divorce rates in the US have been declining for years – including, according to early reports, during 2020 – the rates are still high. Each divorce or separation brings loss, disruption, and pain to any children involved.

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