Increasing Access to Depression Treatment for Rural Adolescents

Learn how we are reducing barriers through a variety of strategies, from providing physician continuing education programs to creating a pediatric telehealth network.

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Supported by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, Altarum is working to increase access to depression treatment for adolescents in rural Michigan using behavioral healthcare integration and telehealth in primary care settings.

Our Approach

In partnership with the Michigan Center for Rural Health, the Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center, and CISCO, the Altarum team is providing the following services:

  • Developing and delivering continuing education (CE) to 45 primary care providers on adolescent depression screening, treatment, and follow-up;
  • Providing clinicians with stand-alone telehealth units and a HIPAA compliant telehealth software package;
  • Providing CE training for behavioral health and primary care clinicians on telebehavioral telehealth;
  • Providing on-demand technical assistance to help primary care clinicians integrate telehealth and adolescent depression screening and treatment into their existing workflow (including maintenance of certification (MOC) credits);
  • Creating a ‘pediatric telehealth network’ enabling rural providers to consult with behavioral health providers and adolescents in primary care offices; and
  • Evaluating the impact of the RAD-IT program on the behavioral health outcomes of 1,500 rural Michigan adolescents.

Anticipated Results

This project addresses the significant challenges rural adolescents face with accessing person-centered and integrated mental health services in a timely and affordable manner. Once clinicians are utilizing the RAD-IT model, we expect to see significant improvements in provider capacity to identify and treat depression in their adolescent population. We also anticipate the program will advance clinician knowledge and confidence, improve depression screening and follow-up rates, and reduce the severity of depression among adolescents treated by RAD-IT clinicians.

Increasing Access to Depression Treatment for Rural Adolescents Contact

Contact Us

Haley McCrary

Haley McCrary  - MPH

Project Manager, Behavioral Health

Areas of Expertise
  • Qualitative Research
  • Mixed-Methods Evaluation
  • Behavioral Health

Haley has expertise in evaluating health education and behavioral change efforts in rural, domestic, and international settings. She holds a master's degree in public health from the University of California, Davis.