Simple ways to focus on behavioral health in the primary setting

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Donna Hallas, PhD, CPNP, PPCNP-BC, PMHS, FAANP, FAAN, believes behavioral health is currently at the forefront of pediatric health care and explains how simple questions can lead to better care for a child.

Donna Hallas, PhD, CPNP, PPCNP-BC, PMHS, FAANP, FAAN, clinical professor, program director, Pediatrics NP, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York, New York, and Contemporary Pediatrics editorial advisory board member provided an update on behavioral health.

Hallas highlighted that it is important to acknowledge and explain to parents that stressors for children and adolescents today are much different than when they were children.

In addition, Hallas comments on the high numbers of children currently with behavioral health issues, and that even asking a simple "how are you doing," to a child during a primary visit can go a long way.

"The numbers are so high for children who are actually experiencing behavioral health problems, where they're not adapting to change," said Hallas. "They're acting out because they don't understand. [It is crucial] to really integrate [that mindset] into our practices."

"An 8-year-old or a 6-year-old could tell us they have concerns, and sometimes they're hesitant to say something in front of a parent, so it is really, really important that we focus on that behavioral health," added Hallas.

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