Developmental & Behavioral Health Committee

Contact information

Cynthia Statler, MD


The MIAAP Developmental and Behavioral Mental Health committee is committed to the promotion of mental and behavioral health in children and adolescents and to the education of pediatric providers in assessment and treatment of mental and behavioral health disorders. The committee provides information to MIAAP members about the scope of mental and behavioral health problems in Michigan, opportunities for continuing education, and is a forum for policy advocacy at the state level. Members will review current AAP recommendations on mental health, promote the use of screening tools for in-office assessment, support implementation of treatment and establish collaborative relationships with other public and private mental health entities. Our goal is to assist pediatric providers in evaluating children’s mental and behavioral health and to advocate for providers’ role in mental and behavioral health at the state level. Projects would include linking providers to local resources, advocating for reimbursement and supporting state legislation on issues impacting mental and behavioral health care.

The MIAAP supports the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry position statement about mental health:

“With the appropriate training and collaborative relationships, primary care clinicians can and should deliver mental health services to children and adolescents in the primary care setting. This setting is ideal for initiating services to children with emerging developmental and behavioral problems and common mental health disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.” (Pediatrics Vol. 123, Number 4, April 2009)

Mental Health: A National Concern

  • 1 in 5 children in the US suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder
  • Only 20% to 25% of affected children receive treatment
  • Major depressive disorder is estimated to occur in 2.8% of children younger than 13 years of age and in 5.6% of adolescents aged 13 to 18 years
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in those aged 15-24 years
  • Suicide is the sixth leading cause of death in those aged 5-14 years
  • According to the AAP task force on mental health, “no other illnesses damage so many children so seriously. On the other hand early identification and treatment of children with mental health problems has the potential to reduce the burden of mental illness and its many consequences.”
  • Read the May 2013 CDC update on Children’s Mental Health

Resources for MIAAP Members