The Five S's: A Communication Tool for Child Psychiatric Access Projects

Joyce Harrison, Kate Wasserman, Janna Steinberg, Rheanna Platt, Kelly Coble, Kelly Bower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Given the gap in child psychiatric services available to meet existing pediatric behavioral health needs, children and families are increasingly seeking behavioral health services from their primary care clinicians (PCCs). However, many pediatricians report not feeling adequately trained to meet these needs. As a result, child psychiatric access projects (CPAPs) are being developed around the country to support the integration of care for children. Despite the promise and success of these programs, there are barriers, including the challenge of effective communication between PCCs and child psychiatrists. Consultants from the Maryland CPAP, the Behavioral Health Integration in Pediatric Primary Care (BHIPP) project, have developed a framework called the Five S's. The Five S's are Safety, Specific Behaviors, Setting, Scary Things, and Screening/Services. It is a tool that can be used to help PCCs and child psychiatrists communicate and collaborate to formulate pediatric behavioral health cases for consultation or referral requests. Each of these components and its importance to the case consultation are described. Two case studies are presented that illustrate how the Five S's tool can be used in clinical consultation between PCC and child psychiatrist. We also describe the utility of the tool beyond its use in behavioral health consultation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-419
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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