Expertise in Indiana Health

Statewide Mental Health

Too many individuals experiencing mental health issues are not getting the support they need. A significant barrier to Indiana residents accessing quality mental and behavioral treatment services is the severe lack of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers in their communities, especially in rural areas. Often, families seek behavioral health care in pediatric primary care clinics, but these facilities typically lack adequate resources and staff to meet the complex clinical needs of patients, resulting in both under-treatment and over-prescription of psychotropic medications.

15
Percent of Hoosier adults with frequent mental distress*
2
Indiana’s place on list of most depressed states**

* America’s Health Rankings (2018)
** Indiana Physician Licensure Data Report (2017)

In the past two years, America’s Health Rankings report indicates that the number of Hoosiers experiencing persistent, and likely severe, mental health issues has increased significantly; many exhibit poor mental health for 14 or more days each month. With a clear need for solutions, Indiana University School of Medicine is setting the standard for mental health care education, research and collaboration across the state.

Education

Indiana University School of Medicine continues to improve its education and training programs to better address the myriad of issues related to mental health care throughout Indiana. This work includes MD curriculum updates, expanded residency programs and more.

IU School of Medicine has expanded the number of Psychiatry residency training slots in general psychiatry and in the triple board residency program, which covers Pediatrics, Child Psychiatry, and Adult Psychiatry. This expansion led by the Department of Psychiatry is supported in part by a $4.7M grant from the North Central Health Services in 2018 for Psychiatry Education and Mental Health Workforce Development. This grant also supports advanced training in Addiction Psychiatry, Geropsychiatry, and Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry.

The Department of Psychiatry has worked with the Southwest Consortium in the Evansville area to develop a community psychiatry residency training program, which was accredited in 2017 and welcomes its first class of residents in July 2019.

With leadership from the Department of Psychiatry, IU School of Medicine recently worked to refresh and revamp the clinical neuroscience component of the medical school curriculum to better prepare MD students and attract more to the field of psychiatry.

Research

From uncovering behavioral disorder mechanisms to introducing new treatments and therapies, IU School of Medicine faculty are focused on improving mental health in Indiana. Active research encompasses several specialties and dozens of experts.

The Indiana Behavioral Health Access Program for Youth program (IN-BeHAPY) helps families in Indiana access quality behavioral health care. The program also provides support to primary care clinics and establishes a solid foundation for a program of innovative, externally funded pediatric behavioral health services research.

Located at Sydney & Lois Eskenazi Health, the Prevention and Recovery Center for Early Psychosis (PARC) researchers focus on individuals in all stages of psychotic illnesses. IU School of Medicine faculty researchers work to understand the causes psychotic illnesses and develop better treatment for patients with schizophrenia.

Collaborative Projects

As part of its commitment to improving the health of Indiana residents, IU School of Medicine is working closely with its clinical partners, including IU Health and Eskenazi Hospital, to address the recognized need for additional psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health providers (Advanced Practice Providers) throughout the state.

The Indiana Area Health Education Centers Network improves health by recruiting, educating and retaining health care professionals for underserved communities in Indiana.

IU School of Medicine received an IU Health Values grant to pilot a telemedicine consultation service for Pediatricians and Family Medicine providers working with children/adolescents with behavioral health conditions.

With a grant from the Family and Social Services Administration, IU School of Medicine developed and implemented the Opiate Use Disorder ECHO project, which is building capacity among providers in the state to better understand and implement Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) for patients with Opiate Use Disorders.

Approximately 70 percent of patients with mental health needs are seen in primary care practices rather than in psychiatry/psychology practices. In response, IU School of Medicine has initiated a project known as the CHOICE Program, which places Department of Psychiatry faculty members in large, busy, primary care practices in Indianapolis. This program expands the ability to reach patients with mental health needs by creating an integrated and collaborative care environment.