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KU Wichita Receives $2.5 Million Grant to Improve Mental Health Services Training for Youth

The University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita Pediatric Residency Program was awarded $2.5 million to enhance pediatric education addressing mental health.

The grant is from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The funding aims to overcome the shortage of pediatric mental health professionals in the state of Kansas in order to better serve the growing number of young people struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. The money will also go towards additional training for primary care physicians and clinicians, who are increasingly called upon to diagnose and treat these diseases.

Officials said there has been a growing trend of substance use among young people to cope with mental illness, resulting in an increase in the number of drug-related pediatric deaths in 2020.

Addressing Youth Mental and Behavioral Health Illnesses (AYMHI) in Primary Care aspires to train pediatric primary care residents in the screening, identification, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness in youth and young adults .

Through its more rigorous training, AYMHI aims to improve primary care education in trauma-informed care, substance use disorders, and the effects of violence. Teachers and tutors, as well as advanced professionals, who work alongside residents will also benefit from the program through educational opportunities and resources.

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