The Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington is the recipient of a $2.7 million grant that will benefit the Indiana Behavioral Health Access Program for Youth. IU says the funding will help children and families with mental health issues.
The university says the Be Happy program will have five years of operational support thanks to the grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding will help increase availability and accessibility of pediatric mental health care teams via telehealth consultation and referral services.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge stressor for all our lives, and in particular the lives of children and adolescents, leading to new and worsening mental health concerns,” said Dr. Rachel Yoder, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the IU School of Medicine and co-director of Indiana Be Happy. “Many families have difficulty accessing mental health care and generally first seek help from their pediatricians. By providing immediate consultation, child mental health providers within our program can help pediatricians catch and address mental health concerns early and improve access to evidence-based treatment.”
IU says the program will focus on rural and underserved areas and will increase provider access to resources as well as increase the ability of youth and families to use the resources.
“We are honored to be able to continue and expand Be Happy services,” said Be Happy co-director Zachary Adams, assistant professor of psychiatry at the IU School of Medicine. “We are particularly excited about opportunities to reduce inequities in access to behavioral health care services, and we will continue to identify opportunities to sustain these services long term to meet the mental health needs of Indiana youth and families and the health care professionals who serve them.”
IU says the program also received a one-year, $100,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation. Be Happy is open to all healthcare professionals in Indiana who work with youth and family.