Child and Adolescent Health

Two Beacon programs help to shape American healthcare landscape

For approximately 35 years, Beacon Health Options has worked to deliver on a fundamental yet singularly important goal: helping people live their lives to their fullest potential by driving and supporting evidence-based, integrated care.

Today, Beacon serves more than 40 million members, but the company’s efforts extend to all Americans as it strives to improve the US healthcare delivery system at large.

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Telehealth for autism treatment: Improved efficacy, health and cost

The oft-cited statistic that one out of every 68 children in America has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) serves as the ongoing reminder that ASD affects many families, school systems and communities.

The challenge for the health care system at large is to determine the best treatment at a cost society can bear.

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And the diagnosis is . . .

It’s first grade and the assignment is to draw Three Blind Mice.

All the kids around me had cute pictures it seemed, but mine was a big blob, looking as though someone had thrown up. This is my first memory of feeling behind in school.

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From misdiagnosis to stability: A story of struggle, of hope

My story is really about one of my daughters.

To protect her privacy as I tell her story, I’ll call her Elizabeth. Elizabeth has had suicidal ideations from since she was about 12 to about 17. At 4 years old, she was misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day spotlights the need for integrated care

Thursday, May 4, was National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day whose theme this year, “Partnering for Help and Hope”, rings particularly true with Beacon Health Options.

Highlighting the importance of integrating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth and young adults with mental and/or substance use disorders, the day brings to light the many innovative Beacon programs and solutions that integrate behavioral health and primary care. At Beacon, we view the community as integral to the solution.

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Youth suicide: The conversation starts with our children

The toughest speech I have ever given in my life – and candidly to the most important audience – was not to a room of politicians or colleagues.

Those speeches seem so easy now in retrospect. My toughest public-speaking moment was delivering the eulogy of my son’s very best friend, Adam.

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How to solve the Emergency Department boarding crisis? Systemwide change

Emergency Department (ED) “boarding” – when patients get stuck in the ED for hours, sometimes days, because there is no placement option readily available – is an issue across the country and has received much attention in Massachusetts recently.

Earlier this month, The Boston Globe published an article highlighting the fact that many of these individuals have behavioral health conditions.

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Helping Students with Asperger’s Take the Stage

When I started teaching at a high school for students with learning differences, my first goal was to make my communication as clear as possible.

I streamlined my presentations, tried to wipe out any sarcasm that could be taken literally, and crafted obnoxiously clear assignment instructions. These tactics proved apt, but little did I know that my most effective communication would involve neither instruction nor planning.

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Beacon Peer’s Hard-Fought Lesson: Heal Thyself

As a Beacon Health Options Peer Support Specialist raising a child with multiple disabilities, I never fully grasped that recovery is an inside job – until I had to recover myself.

Many Beacon locations employ peers, people with lived experience of mental illness or substance use disorder, to empower the individuals we serve to live their lives to the fullest potential. We might help them to navigate the health care system, or to define their own paths to recovery.

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Coming Out vs. Coming of Age

As a young person, whenever I saw a “coming of age” movie like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” or “The Breakfast Club” or even “Footloose,” I would become angry rather than entertained.

I never knew why. I now believe it was because, as a young, closeted gay person living with a newly divorced mother, nothing could have been more inconceivable than the idea I would one day “come of age” and live my own life.

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