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HNJH Participates in Responding to Adolescent Depression through Integration and Telemedicine (RAD-IT) Program

depressed adolescent

Helen Newberry Joy Hospital has taken steps to better assist adolescents with depression by participating in the Responding to Adolescent Depression through Integration and Telemedicine (RAD-IT) program. The RAD-IT program aims to integrate behavioral health assessments into primary care and help clinicians utilize telemedicine to increase behavioral healthcare access. It will help expand access to screening, treatment, and specialty referrals among the growing numbers of youth struggling with depression in rural areas.

Primary Care Providers at HNJH have received training to conduct behavioral health screenings specific for youth. Based on the screening questionnaire, if additional treatment/counseling is beneficial, individuals will have access to a specialist through telehealth appointments in our clinic. These appointments will provide much-needed behavioral health resources to youth without having to leave our community. 

The COVID pandemic has significantly impacted the mental health of young people. According to a recent study of healthcare claims, in March and April 2020, mental health claims for individuals aged 13-18 approximately doubled over the same months in the previous year. Without the ability to access care via telehealth, many rural adolescents will go untreated. The program is funded by a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and in partnership with Altarum and the Michigan Center for Rural Health.

To make an appointment with an HNJH provider to discuss depression or counseling options, call the Gibson Family Health Clinic in Newberry at 293.9233, the Manistique Lakes Family Clinic In Curtis at 586.3300, or the West Mackinac Health Clinic In Engadine at 477.6066.