Columbia Psychiatry Marks Child Mental Health Awareness Week 2015

May 4, 2015


Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for Primary Care (CAP PC) Program Columbia University/NYSPI

NEW YORK, NY (May 4, 2015) — Giving Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) the training and tools necessary to effectively care for children with mental health problems is critical to reducing the rates of children who move into late adolescence and adulthood with unresolved psychiatric disorders. The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for Primary Care (CAP PC) Program, available at Columbia University (CU)/the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) and several sites state-wide, provides free consultation and support to PCPs. Rachel Zuckerbrot, MD, is a faculty member in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and director of the CU/NYSPI CAP PC site.

“When families recognize that a child may have a mental health problem, the first point of contact for them is typically their primary care physician whether those families are in upstate New York or downtown Manhattan,” said Dr. Zuckerbrot. PCPs who sign up to participate can get free phone consultations Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on any case involving children and adolescents up to age 21. Additionally, CAP PC team members will help identify appropriate mental health referrals and resources for families.

According to data about past episodes of major depression (2008-2012) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), roughly 110,000 children between the ages of 12 and 17 living in New York State had at least one major depressive episode per year in the year prior to being surveyed. However, SAMHSA found that 62.3% of them didn’t receive treatment for their depression.

“Good health is not only a matter of good physical health,” said Dr. Zuckerbrot. “Mental health should be integrated into every yearly health assessment. I’m pleased and happy more children have access to the care they need.” The program, which is now in its fifth year has grown significantly starting with 89 consultations over two months in 2010 to 1501 at the end of 2013.

The CU/NYSPI site has provided expert consultation to practitioners throughout the downstate area, including the Bronx and Manhattan, Rockland County and Westchester. One Manhattan pediatrician enrolled in CAP PC wrote:   “I am very grateful for this resource in an era where mental health issues are the majority of the chronic problems we are seeing in pediatric patients.”

To learn more about the CAP PC program and to enroll for free consultation and trainings, go to

Contact: Dacia Morris: (646) 774-8724,

Columbia University Department of Psychiatry & NYS Psychiatric Institute

Columbia Psychiatry is ranked among the best departments and psychiatric research facilities in the nation and has contributed greatly to the understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders. It is home to distinguished clinicians and researchers noted for their clinical and research advances in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, suicide, schizophrenia, bipolar and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and childhood psychiatric disorders. Visit for more information.


Departmental News, Media Alert, Press Releases