Mental Health Care of Children and Adolescents: A Guide for Primary Care Clinicians 878 completing additional checklists or questionnaires, keeping a diary of symptoms and triggers, gathering information from other sources such as the child’s school or child care center, making lifestyle changes, applying new parenting strategies or self-management techniques, reviewing educational resources about the problem or condition, seeking mental health specialty care or social services, or simply returning to the medical home for further discussion. Use of the HELP mnemonic builds a therapeutic alliance between the clinician and the patient and family and improves the likelihood of follow-through on a plan of care. This approach is well suited to the care of patients who would benefit from a behavior change, patients whose symptoms are undifferentiated and patients whose symptoms do not reach a diagnostic threshold, patients who are resistant or otherwise not yet ready to pursue further diagnostic assessment or treatment, and patients who are awaiting further diagnostic assessment and treatment. Use of the HELP mnemonic should not delay a full diagnostic evaluation or definitive therapy if the patient’s symptoms suggest a psychiatric emer- gency, severe impairment, or marked distress. Adapted from American Academy of Pediatrics. Addressing Mental Health Concerns in Primary Care: A Clinician’s Toolkit. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics 2010. Updated May 2017. 37-MHCC_appendix-05.indd 878 4/6/18 11:53 AM
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