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Minnesota: Lawmakers considering "telemental health care" for schools"

April 17, 2018, MHealthIntelligence: Minnesota Lawmakers Mull New School Telemental Health Programs—A Minnesota lawmaker is proposing four school-based telemedicine pilot programs to address the growing need for telemental health services for students https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/minnesota-lawmakers-mull-new-school-telemental-health-programs/ Minnesota lawmakers are considering a bill to launch four telemedicine projects aimed at improving access to mental health services in schools…. Minnesota is one of several states seeking to use telehealth and telemedicine to address the growing problem of school-aged students lacking access to mental health services. Experts say there are roughly 15 million children in the US who need psychiatric care, yet only 8,300 practicing child psychiatrists, many clustered in large metropolitan areas. In Utah, State Rep. Ken Ivory’s bill, HB 308, would set aside almost $600,000 for the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to create the two-year program. The program would create a telemedicine platform that schools could access to facilitate remote consults between children and child psychiatrists. Last December, spurred by a state report that indicated roughly half of Georgia’s 159 counties have no licensed child psychologist, the Commission on Children’s Mental Health issued a report with five recommendations to address the lack of child-based mental health services. One recommendation was that the state make more use of telemedicine. “Kids who have an unmet mental health need, if it continues to get worse, miss significantly more days of school than kids who don’t have those needs,” Erica Fener Sitkoff, executive director of Voices for Georgia’s Children and a commission member, recently told the Gainesville Times. “We know if we don’t intervene, it starts to have a compounding negative impact on them - they get behind and it feeds into stress, anxiety, depression. …