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Published on February 27, 2021

CCHC supports our childrens’ emotional healthCCHC supports our children's emotional health

Expanded health benefits focus on the wellbeing of adolescents and children

By Kumara Sidhartha MD, MPH, Medical Director, CCHC Employee Health Plan

For families with children who have a mental health problem, navigating life is tricky enough without a pandemic. With a global viral crisis in the mix, just one small setback of day-to-day events can land a full-blown mental health crisis in the lives of such families.

For 2021, Cape Cod Healthcare has introduced newly expanded benefits to the families of CCHC Employee Health Plan by offering an array of home and community-based, family-oriented behavioral health services for children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances. Access to services include but are not limited to the 24/7 mobile crisis intervention, intensive community-based acute treatment, family support and training, and more.

I asked Dr. Kathryn Rudman, board-certified pediatric physician at Cape Cod Healthcare’s Seaside Pediatrics in Yarmouth about her observations at the frontline of caring for children and adolescents in her practice during this pandemic. Dr. Rudman said,

“So many children in our practices struggle with ongoing serious emotional and behavioral difficulties, Rudman said. “When you add on the additional stressors of a pandemic, combined with a sudden halt to regular in person schooling and all the support services that had been in place, we have ourselves a pandemic within a pandemic.

“Even children who did not really struggle emotionally before are now having to navigate online schooling, missing regular contact with friends and disruptions to childhood as they knew it. This past year has really pushed the limits of parents and families to cope.”

Dr. Rudman’s observations are validated by large scale scientific reports which assert that the COVID-19 crisis-associated stress is particularly harmful for children and adolescents with mental health problems and can lead to more severe courses of mental disorders or even a mental health crisis.

Access to a comprehensive set of home and community-based, family-centered behavioral health services by qualified professionals is a shot in the arm for families with children with serious mental health problems. Making such services available boosts the resilience for the child and the family, as reported in the International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience.

Expansion of your health benefits to serve you child with serious mental health problem is aimed at emotional wellbeing and peace of mind for your family.

Learn more about the behavioral health services included in this Employee Health benefit. If you require more information or are looking into one of these services for your child, you should contact the Tufts Health Plan Behavioral Health phone number displayed on your Tuft Medical ID Card (800-208-9565.) Some of the services listed will need to be approved by Tufts Health Plan through a specific provider.

As always, Cape Cod Healthcare is immensely grateful for your efforts in caring for our community during this pandemic.

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