Coordinating Mental Health Care Across Primary Care and Schools: ADHD as a Case Example

Adv Sch Ment Health Promot. 2013 Jan 1;6(1):68-80. doi: 10.1080/1754730X.2013.749089. Epub 2013 Jan 17.


Although primary care practices and schools are major venues for the delivery of mental health services to children, these systems are disconnected, contributing to fragmentation in service delivery. This paper describes barriers to collaboration across the primary care and school systems, including administrative and fiscal pressures, conceptual and linguistic differences between healthcare and educational professionals, role restrictions among professionals, and privacy laws. Strategies for overcoming these barriers that can be applied in both primary care and school settings are described. The paper has a primary focus on children with ADHD, but the principles and strategies described are applicable to children with a range of mental health and health conditions.

Keywords: ADHD; Mental Health; Primary Care; Schools; Service Coordination.