As the number of young people in need of mental health treatment continues to rise, accessing the appropriate care is becoming more difficult. In May 2023, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry reported a drastic shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists across the country, stating that for every 100,000 children, there are only 14 psychiatrists available to treat them.
There’s also a disconnect between quantity and quality. Even though access to therapy has improved overall, a recent Time Magazine article suggests that America’s mental health problem is actually getting worse. Over the past two decades, the number of Americans receiving mental healthcare has grown by a third, but the share of those reporting “excellent” mental health has decreased by almost as much. The Time article also suggests that some experts believe most of the available care isn’t up to par with patients’ needs.
It’s critical that we address pediatric mental health and create access to a proven specialty care model that targets specific needs. At InStride Health, we’re taking on the broken mental health system by offering insurance-based access to a coordinated clinical team with the training, expertise, and evidence-based treatment approach specifically designed for the needs of pediatric anxiety and OCD. This approach was tested and proven over a decade at McLean Hospital (the #1 psychiatric hospital in the country) by InStride’s clinical co-founders.
Evidence-based treatment produces effective results
We have seen that finding the right care can be life changing. At InStride, we empower patients with the skills and strategies to quickly get back on track during the crucial years between childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. But for those who go through treatment, how do we know if it works? Unfortunately, fewer than 20% of mental health practices currently engage in Measurement Based Care (MBC), where treatment goals and progress are measured and directly inform care. At InStride, we are committed to transparency and accountability in our treatment, and MBC is an integral part of ensuring strong outcomes.
As advocates of publicizing the effectiveness of mental health treatment, we’re thrilled to share our first outcomes report to help provide hope to young people and their families who are struggling with anxiety or OCD and seeking treatment. Over 350 patients have received care from InStride to date, and our clinical outcomes from program graduates demonstrate that the results are rapid and sustainable.
Caring for a child who has anxiety is challenging. When a child is struggling with mental, emotional, social, or behavioral functioning, the parent and/or caregiver often suffers from stress, burnout, or guilt and tends to neglect their own needs. Fortunately, InStride’s proven care model helps the parents/caregivers as well.
“As a nurse and strong patient advocate who makes referrals worldwide, I wholeheartedly endorse InStride Health. This is a long-awaited, empirically validated treatment program for those seeking highly educated and well-trained professionals to deliver stellar clinical care efficiently, effectively and even accepts most major insurance plans,” said Bonnie Brown, BS, RN, Nurse Administrator and Health Communications Specialist.
Specialty care expands to six states
The bottom line is that there’s hope for youth mental health, and high-quality, effective treatment is available. InStride Health delivers evidenced-based treatment that empowers patients with anxiety and OCD to gain the skills needed to quickly get their lives back on track. Our proven coordinated care model is led by highly experienced clinical teams including a psychiatrist, therapist and coach, all of whom not only bring heart to their work, but also have the training and expertise geared for the specific needs of pediatric anxiety and OCD. They engage patients and their families in a tailored care journey, including individual and family therapy, groups for children and for parents/caregivers, coaching, and medication management, if needed.
At InStride, our mission is to deliver desperately needed, insurance-based access to evidence-based treatment that works for kids, teens and young adults with moderate to severe anxiety and OCD. To meet the increasing demand for specialty care, we’ve expanded access to patients and families residing in New York and New Jersey, in addition to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. As we touch more lives, we’re committed to measuring the improvement in our patients’ mental health and sharing clinically meaningful results on a yearly basis. Our belief is that InStride has proven to be more than a continuum of care—it’s a pathway to a healthier life and hope for a promising future.
*Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale 7 (GAD7), Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ9)
**Clinically meaningful reduction is defined by a reduction in GAD7 score greater than or equal to the minimally clinically important difference (MCID; 4 points).
***Following seven months in treatment.
****Significant absenteeism defined as missing quite a bit/very much work.
Mona Potter, MD
Mona Potter, MD, is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist and is co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of InStride Health. She is also Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, part-time, at Harvard Medical School. Before co-founding InStride, Dr. Potter spent nearly two decades in the MGH/ McLean/Harvard Medical School System, serving as the medical director of McLean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Services and on the executive committee of the McLean Institute of Technology in Psychiatry (ITP) prior to co-founding InStride. She is also a mom of two awesome kids who have inspired her to do right by their generation.
Kathryn Boger, PhD, ABPP
Dr. Kathryn (“Kat”) Boger is a board certified and Harvard-trained child and adolescent clinical psychologist who has devoted her career to helping children and teens with anxiety and OCD, as well as their families. She is passionate about improving care for youth and decreasing suffering through innovative, research-based treatment approaches. Dr. Boger co-founded the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program (MAMP), nationally recognized for providing empirically supported, intensive anxiety and OCD treatment.
While at MAMP, Dr. Boger served as program director with oversight over all levels of program development and refinement, and served as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Boger has published a variety of peer-reviewed journal articles, delivered regional and national talks (including a TEDx,) and provided training to hospitals, schools, and the community. In 2021, Dr. Boger co-founded InStride Health with the mission of increasing access to insurance-backed, research-based care for children, adolescents, and young adults with anxiety and OCD. Her children’s book, Step by Step, is about taking brave steps to face things that feel scary.
Daniel Stone, PhD
Dr. Daniel Stone is a licensed psychologist who specializes in the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and related disorders. Throughout his training and career, Dr. Stone has focused on providing evidence-based assessment and treatment to children, families, and young adults. He earned a BA in psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a doctorate in counseling psychology at Northeastern University. Dr. Stone completed his clinical internship in behavioral psychology at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University, and his postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral psychology and neuropsychology at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School. During that time, he provided intensive exposure-based treatment to children with anxiety and related disorders. Dr. Stone is currently an Instructor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a psychologist at the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program, where he conducts research and development on electronic therapy interventions, such as telehealth and virtual reality therapies. As Director of Digital Health Innovation at InStride, Dr. Stone combines his knowledge of psychological assessment and intervention, with his passion for science and technology to drive forward the development and implementation of new therapeutic techniques to combat the pediatric mental health crisis.
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