A Pediatrician’s Toolkit for Youth Mental Health

Unfortunately, it has taken a while to move youth mental health to the forefront of our collective minds. The U.S. Surgeon General has declared youth mental health a crisis and has called upon all health providers to help address the mental health needs of parents and their children. In our effort to address the crisis, we’ve created resources for pediatricians to use in their office and provide to parents.

Mental Health Screening Information

Early intervention for mental health can lead to better long-term physical and mental health outcomes. Knowing pediatricians are on the frontline of children’s health, we’re asking you to perform mental health screenings and pass along our resources to parents and caregivers.

Letter from Pediatrician Nicole Brown, MD, MPH, MHS

Nicole Brown, MD, MPH, MHS is a general pediatrician and health services researcher and is the founder and Chief Health Officer of Strong Children Wellness. Her research and professional interests center on enhancing care and service coordination for children who have experienced trauma and those with chronic mental health needs in the pediatric primary care setting.

Dear Colleagues,

As pediatric providers dedicated to providing high-quality care for children and adolescents, many of us have experienced an unprecedented surge in mental health needs among our patients.

Read the full letter

Watch the Interview

Mental Health Screening Tools

The American Academy of Pediatrics developed a comprehensive resources toolkit that gathers evidence-based screening tools categorized by age.

Get screening tools

Resources for Your Patients

DBSA Mood Crew

DBSA’s Mood Crew®

Emotional literacy is important for everyone, regardless of mental health status. Teaching children how to articulate and navigate feelings sets the foundation for emotional health, which affects their overall development. DBSA’s Mood Crew was developed to help parents and caregivers, as well as educators and clinicians, begin important conversations on mental health. It’s an emotional literacy program designed for children (4-10) to begin important conversations on mental health. The program consists of 10 emotion-based characters and their accompanying activities to help children learn about emotions.


Mood Crew Activities and Instructions

Pediatric Mood Disorder Education

Understanding Mood Disorders in Children and Teens is a great resource for parents or caregivers who may have a child experiencing depression or bipolar disorder. This brochure gives an overview of the conditions and is a helpful resource for guiding parents and caregivers with a newly diagnosed child.

Finding Support

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance was founded by people living with mood disorders for people living with mood disorders. Our free online and in-person support groups provide hundreds of thousands of people across the country with the community, wellness, support, and hope they need to thrive. In addition to support groups for people living with mood disorders, DBSA offers support groups for friends and family members, as well as parents and caregivers. Our online community for parents and caregivers is designed to empower parents with education, wellness tools, and peer support.

Support Groups

Parent and Caregiver Network

Resources for Teens

We Want to Hear From You

We hope you found this toolkit helpful! Take a short survey to let us know your feedback.

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This resource is made possible by a generous grant from the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation.