Accordia Health recognizes Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

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Behavioral health leaders say COVID-19 could have a lasting impact on our mental health, especially children. Accordia Health experts recognize this and say the need to raise awareness about a child's well-being is more important than ever. Its medical team invites the public to celebrate Children's Mental Health Awareness Week and Flip the Script on Mental Health.

Edgar Finn, MD, is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist practicing at Accordia Health.

Our focus this Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is to shine a light on how much mental health can impact a child’s physical health. A child's overall well-being is our priority.

Across the U.S., including in our area, there is growing concern about the pandemic’s impact on our children’s mental health and well-being. Behavioral health experts say it could be sometime before the exact toll is known. Children’s physical and mental health are priorities for Accordia Health.

Edgar Finn, MD, Accordia Health board-certified child, and adolescent psychiatrist, says, “We have seen an increased rate of depression and anxiety. In pockets, we’re seeing increased rates of suicide as well in young people.” Dr. Finn said pandemic-related school closures could be a big problem for children. Finn said children need structure, and while many schools closed during the height of COVID-19 infections, many children did not receive that structure and are struggling now.

Accordia Health will recognize Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week May 3 – 7 with a host of educational and fun activities, culminating with a red-carpet event to “Flip the Script on Mental Health,” Friday, May 7, 2 – 4 p.m. at 2419 Gordon Smith Drive in Mobile.

Accordia joins communities across the state to raise awareness about the importance of good mental health, taking it a step further to focus on the importance of an integrated approach to supporting a child’s overall well-being.

Dr. Finn works alongside pediatrician Brian Gavan, MD, to deliver whole-person care for children at Accordia Health’s Gordon Smith Drive office in Mobile. Together, they provide care that demonstrates our mental health role in our physical health and vice versa.

Emily Jackson, integrated care clinic manager for Accordia Health’s children’s outpatient office, says the goal of integrated care is simple, better care and health for the whole person. “Especially for children,” Jackson added. “Our focus this Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is to shine a light on how much mental health can impact a child’s physical health. Having two physicians work collaboratively to provide the best possible health outcome for a child is phenomenal. It benefits children and their families in so many ways, and we hope it makes life easier.”

Accordia Health is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) offering primary medical care to people of all ages, with psychiatry as a specialty service. Accordia accepts all patients regardless of ability to pay and accepts all public health insurance programs, including Medicare. A sliding fee discount program is available for those who qualify. In addition to primary care, it offers laboratory, pharmacy, case management, screenings, referrals, wellness checkups, sick visits, and more.

Accordia Health is the primary care division of AltaPointe Health. AltaPointe is Alabama's largest health and human services provider. AltaPointe is located in seven counties in Alabama; Baldwin, Clay, Coosa, Mobile, Randolph, Talladega, and Washington. Each year it provides more than 1 million mental health, substance misuse, intellectual disabilities, and primary care services. J. Tuerk Schlesinger is the Chief Executive Officer.

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April Douglas
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