IT’S BEEN FIVE YEARS since a federal judge issued a scathing ruling accusing Massachusetts of not providing adequate mental health services to children on public health insurance. The landmark case, Rosie D. v. Romney, has had broad implications on the diagnosis and treatment of all Massachusetts children who need mental health care. Although there have been many reforms in the five years since the suit, several challenges remain. We check in on how care has changed since Rosie D.
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To open our series on children’s mental health care in Massachusetts, one local family speaks candidly about its struggle for a clear diagnosis and a helpful treatment plan. It’s a years-long story of doctors, tests, medications, addiction, treatments and the continued search for the best way forward.
The most controversial topic surrounding children and mental health issues is medication. In the second report, we examine the divergent choices two families have made about whether to put a child on psychiatric drugs.
- Audio Slideshow: The Donovan Family Chooses Not To Medicate
- Audio Slideshow: The Brennan Family Chooses To Medicate
In the third report of our week-long series, we look at how doctors screen children for mental illness. Recently they’ve started giving parents a questionnaire to more clearly identify problems, but this tool has uncovered a bigger issue: getting kids help for their mental illness.
- Scribd: Questionnaire For Children’s Mental Health Screening
- Listen: Former Mass. Mental Health Commissioner Says Private Insurance Fails Kids
In the fourth report of our week-long series, we look at a disheartening problem: the shortage of pediatric mental health providers in Massachusetts means many of the kids who need help aren’t getting it. It’s a doctor shortage that’s expected to get even worse.
All this week, we’ve gotten a glimpse of some of the deficiencies in children’s mental health care in Massachusetts. To close our series, we hosted an in-studio discussion to explore what can be done to improve care in the state.
This series aired Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, 2011 on WBUR 90.9