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Texas universities launch statewide programs to support child and adolescent mental health

The Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium has launched two initiatives to support the mental health of children and adolescents in Texas: The Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN) and the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) program.

“We are now accepting calls from providers, and ready to provide care directly to kids through their schools once the school year begins,” says Dr. Laurel Williams, medical director of the consortium’s operation hub and and associate professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine.

CPAN is available to every primary care provider in Texas who cares for children and adolescents. After a very simple enrollment process, providers can call the central CPAN phone number at (888) 901-CPAN and within 30 minutes be connected with a child and adolescent psychiatric specialist in their region.

TCHATT is currently deployed in more than 1,300 schools in 138 districts across Texas. In these schools, students can receive direct tele-psychiatric assessments, referrals and a limited amount of care from child and adolescent specialists in their region. Direct care is only provided after consent from a parent or guardian.

“This is the start of a profound advance in the quality and scale of mental health care we can provide to our state’s children,” said Senator Jane Nelson, who championed the legislation to fund the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium (TCMHCC).

Depending on the needs of providers, CPAN specialists can provide phone consultation on medication questions, expert consultation on difficult cases, referrals for in-person care, and guidance on how to incorporate behavioral services into the practice through access to a child psychiatrist.

Both CPAN and TCHATT are also providing training and education to providers and school staff in order to improve mental health care for children and adolescents.

The TCHMCC was created in 2019 by the 86th Texas Legislature to leverage the expertise and capacity of the state’s health-related institutions of higher education to improve mental health and the mental health care system for children and adolescents. It consists of all 13 state-funded health related institutions of higher education in Texas along with key state agencies and statewide nonprofits. The University of Texas System is the administrative support entity for TCMHCC.

About The University of Texas System

For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 14 institutions, an enrollment of nearly 240,000 students and an operating budget of $21.1 billion (FY 2020), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 60,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than half of its health professional degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 9.2 million outpatient visits and 1.8 million hospital days last year. Across UT institutions, research and development expenditures total $3.1 billion – the highest in Texas and second highest in the nation among public higher education systems – and the UT System is regularly ranked among the top 10 most innovative universities in the world. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 85,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff.

News Contact Information

Karen Adler: • 512-499-4360 (direct) • 210-912-8055 (cell)