Grants

???We???re using technology to provide the counseling and support students ??? and schools ??? need. We???ll be able to see each other and talk to each in real time and potentially identify at-risk children more quickly.??? - Rameshwari Tumuluru, MD, medical director, WPIC Adolescent Acute Partial Hospitalization Program.

VIRTUAL SCHOOL CONSULTATION (VSC)N

Grant Application

Rameshwari Tumuluru, MD, William Davies, EdD, and Allison Miziniak, LCSW, of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC

 

Proposed Innovation

High-risk adolescents undergoing mental health treatment can have a difficult time during their transition back to school. Many struggle with school-related difficulties, such as bullying, and typically need academic and emotional support. Issues that arise are usually addressed the following day.

Through this innovative project, a Virtual School Consultation (VSC) will be established as a pilot program to provide easier and more immediate access to mental health professionals for consultations and support in crisis situations.

 

Improvements in Action

IMeetings will be held via video teleconference between the school and the treatment team at the Southside Child and Adolescent Acute Partial Hospitalization Program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC. Technology purchased for the project includes a smart TV and camera.

Students will benefit from more in-depth and continued mental health support. Team members, including physicians and social workers, will be able to meet virtually with the school during the transition and quickly address any issues that arise.

 

Results — In Progress

The Virtual School Consultation initially will be piloted at two schools. After the first year, it will be expanded to more schools attended by patients. The project is expected to increase communication between WPIC staff and school personnel, leading to more streamlined transitions for patients and improved support for schools and families.