UAMS, ACH Pediatric Mental Health Program Presents School-Based Mental Health Symposium on July 31

By Yavonda Chase

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Arkansas Children’s Hospital are partnering to improve access to mental health education and resources in pediatric primary care settings and schools.

The symposium is offered free of charge and is geared for such school personnel as administrators, education paraprofessionals, teachers, counselors, principals, school nurses, special education teachers and intervention specialists.

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“I am very pleased that the ARMAPP program is bringing education and consultation with pediatric clinicians statewide, and this symposium launches our partnership with school-based professionals to help them address the mental health needs of students around the state,” said Chris Smith, M.D., a professor of pediatrics who serves as the principal investigator for the Health Resources and Services Administration grant that funds ARMAPP.

Brittainy Erby, M.D., will deliver the keynote address, “Racism as Trauma.” Erby is board-certified in general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry, specializing in treating psychiatric disorders in children, teens and young adults. Erby received her bachelor’s degree in biology at Ohio University and her medical degree at Wright State University. She completed a residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she now practices.

Other topics slated to be covered include behavioral de-escalation, the dangers of sexting, substance use, and recognizing signs of abuse.

The ARMAPP team of psychiatrists and psychologists provides education and consultations on mental health conditions for both pediatric primary care providers and school-based personnel across Arkansas.

Arkansas Children’s is the only health system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas’ nearly 700,000 children. The private, non-profit organization includes two pediatric hospitals, a pediatric research institute and USDA nutrition center, a philanthropic foundation, a nursery alliance, statewide clinics, and many education and outreach programs — all focused on fulfilling a promise to define and deliver unprecedented child health. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a 336-bed, Magnet-recognized facility in Little Rock operating the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center; the state’s only burn center; the state’s only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric surgery program with Level 1 verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS); and the state’s only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Arkansas Children’s is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in seven pediatric subspecialties (2023—2024): Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Nephrology, Orthopedics, Pulmonology & Lung Surgery and Urology. Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), the first and only pediatric hospital in the northwest Arkansas region, is a level IV pediatric trauma center. ACNW operates a 24-bed inpatient unit; a surgical unit with five operating rooms; outpatient clinics offering over 20 subspecialties; diagnostic services; imaging capabilities; occupational therapy services; and northwest Arkansas’ only pediatric emergency department, equipped with 30 exam rooms. Generous philanthropic and volunteer engagement has sustained Arkansas Children’s since it began as an orphanage in 1912, and today ensures the system can deliver on its promise of unprecedented child health. To learn more, visit

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.