Bipolar Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Naomi A. Schapiro, RN, MS, CPNP


J Pediatr Health Care. 2005;19(3):131-141. 

In This Article

The PNP as Advocate

In addition to providing families with appropriate mental health referrals and helping to monitor the effects and interactions of psychiatric medications, the primary care PNP will also be asked to advocate for children with serious mental health problems, including BPD (see Box 4 for family resources.) This advocacy may take the form of negotiating with an individual child's health insurance for more comprehensive services or advocating with the child's school for appropriate placement and services. Advocacy is also important on the community and statewide level, or in national campaigns such as KySS (Melnyk et al., 2003) to improve access to mental health treatment and the quality of available services. Although much remains to be known about optimal diagnosis and treatment of BPD, primary care PNPs can help improve outcomes for children with BPD through early diagnosis and coordination of care.


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