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WLBT Covers ‘CHAMP’ Program For Access to Mental Health Services for Children

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We’re very thankful for this WLBT report by Patrice Clark that explains the CHAMP program to people, especially in rural Mississippi, who may not be aware of it. Families as Allies is pleased to be a partner with the University of Mississippi Medical Center in the CHAMP, or Child Access to Mental Health and Psychiatry, program.

CHAMP is important to us at Families as Allies because we believe it’s critical that families are able to get mental health care for their children from people they trust, such as their own pediatrician, family doctor or nurse practitioner. Because of this, we are very dedicated to helping policy makers know how helpful and cost-effective CHAMP is and the importance of growing and sustaining it in the state.

Ms. Clark spoke with Dr. Dustin Sarver, with whom we work closely in order to make this service available to rural physicians, nurse practitioners and other healthcare workers. As we explain in our own video about the CHAMP program, this enables a child’s primary care provider to speak directly with child psychologists and psychiatrists at UMMC so they can collaborate on the care program for that child, including the opportunity to confer with specialists, get referrals to other providers or consult on prescriptions and other courses of action. The CHAMP program is free of charge to providers and patients.

Dr. Philip Merideth, CHAMP’s medical director, pointed out to Ms. Clark that CHAMP has enabled over 300 young patients to get mental health care and consultation through their primary care provider wherever they are in the state. That means less waiting and less travel to reach mental health professionals in more rural areas. And it means those young patients can get more immediate care from a healthcare provider they know and trust.

To learn more about CHAMP, please watch this video that Families as Allies produced in partnership with UMMC. You can visit the CHAMP webpage at UMMC’s site as well.

And, of course, you can watch (and ready) the full WLBT report here. We thank WLBT and Patrice Clark for bringing awareness to this important program.

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