By Stephanie Abraham

Blake Lancaster, Ph.D., Awarded Inaugural Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Collaborative Innovations Fund Award

Lancaster to study ways depression screening and treatment can be improved in primary care practices Dr. Blake Lancaster was just awarded the U-M Depression Center's inaugural Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Collaborative Innovations Fund award. Dr. Lancaster, an assistant professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases at U-M, will study, "The Screening to Address Depression (SAD) Task Force: Improving Depression Screening and Treatment Practices in Pediatric Primary Care." The National Institute of Mental Health estimates 1 in 5 adolescents will suffer from a mental illness before age 18, and depression is one of the most commonly identified mental health problems among the pediatric population. Due to a lack of access to mental health services, only 25 percent of adolescents who need clinical services ever receive treatment for mental health issues such as depression. Significant burden is placed on primary care pediatricians (PCPs), as it is estimated that 80 percent of adolescents with mental health issues will seek treatment in the primary care setting. Pediatricians consistently report that they are not comfortable treating mental health issues such as depression because they do not have the flexibility or the requisite training to deliver evidence-based treatments during the course of a typical primary care visit. [caption id="attachment_2633" align="alignright" width="129"]