Dr. Matthew Biel directs an academic medical division engaged in clinical work, education, and research. The clinical program he built includes inpatient and outpatient clinical care, a training site, advocacy efforts, and community-based services focused on improving access to mental health care for underserved children in Washington, DC. They have created more than 30 partnerships with DC public charter schools to provide in-school mental health clinical services; collaborate with primary care clinics to integrate mental health care within pediatric centers; and designed and operate a telehealth consultation program to help pediatricians citywide address mental health concerns within the pediatric primary care setting. Biel also co-directs the Early Childhood Innovation Network, a cross-sector and multi-stakeholder effort to design and implement multi-generational strategies to enhance developmental outcomes for children in DC.
Child mental health services are not meeting the needs of the children of this country. While we have made very significant strides in understanding the neuroscience of development, mental health, and mental illness in childhood and adolescence, and in designing interventions that can significantly reduce suffering and improve functioning, we have been failing in several critical areas. First, our models of care are very pathology-focused, with inadequate attention to factors and strategies that enhance emotional, behavioral and relational wellbeing and have the potential to prevent or mitigate the onset of mental health problems in children.