Emotional and Behavioral Support for PAPA Patients and Families

Asthma diagnosis and care can be difficult and confusing, no matter how long your child has lived with asthma. The PAPA clinic pairs medical care with emotional and behavioral services to make sure that PAPA patients and families receive treatment and support for every part of their diagnosis and care plan.

Our psychologists and social workers help patients and families cope with the stressors that come with dealing with an ongoing diagnosis. The social worker’s role is to assess the psychosocial needs of your child and family, help you navigate the health system, advocate to assure all your needs are met, and connect you to the appropriate resources within the hospital and in the community.

A social worker is available to, for example, help you and your child/youth:

  • Find the best routine to incorporate daily medications
  • Find strategies and resources to help you deal with changes in the environment
  • Craft ways to explain your child’s asthma care routine to family and friends involved in your child’s life
  • Identify healthy coping strategies when dealing with flares
  • Navigate complicated insurance situations, including applying for financial aid, if needed
  • Work with schools to access resources and accommodations (create a 504 plan)
  • Access community resources (insurance options, asthma programs, asthma camps, home environment evaluation)
  • Suggest other services to help you and your family
  • Access and coordinate community mental health care (when needed or recommended)

A psychologist is available in the clinic to help with issues such as adjusting to having asthma, taking medications and addressing general concerns about your child’s emotions and behavior. Here are some questions we may discuss with you to help you and your child achieve your goals:

  • What are your goals for your child’s health and your family life, and how can the PAPA Clinic visits help you achieve them?
  • Tell me about your medication routine: How does it fit into your family life and overall routine? What is easy about the routine? What is hard about the routine? How do you and your child feel about the medications?
  • How confident do you feel about your ability to manage your child’s asthma symptoms? What could make you feel more confident? What might make you feel less confident?
  • How do you and your child feel about having asthma and needing to take medications?
  • Does your child have to alter his or her activities? How does he or she feel about that?
  • A lot of children with chronic illnesses have some feelings of anxiety and sadness about what they are going through. What have you noticed with your child?
  • We want to help your child and family do all the things that are important to you — even with an asthma diagnosis and the need to take medications. What is important to you? What would you like to do more of? What would like to be different for your child and family?

If your child’s PAPA Clinic care plan includes emotional and behavioral services, you will see the social worker or psychologist as part of your clinic visits.