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Mental Health in Primary Care Program

The pediatricians supporting the Mental Health in Primary Care program take a holistic approach to providing mental health services. Access to compassionate mental health care is an integral component of total body wellness and we take the time to understand the individual needs of patients and families. Our providers emphasize the role that proper nutrition, regular exercise and healthy sleep patterns play in a young person’s mood and stress level. The Mental Health in Primary Care program collaborates with therapists and other community providers ensuring continuity of care for patients starting at 11 years old up until their 25th birthday.


Our Services

Our team evaluates and treats:

  • ADHD (includes medication if needed)
  • Mild-moderate anxiety and depression (includes medication if needed)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Bullying
  • School challenges

Many adolescents experience physical symptoms associated with stress, which may include:

  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Sore or tense muscles
  • Chest tightness
  • Lack of energy
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sweaty or cold hands and feet

As part of a comprehensive assessment, our team can assist with referrals to therapy and determine whether these symptoms require additional evaluation.

Meet the Team


Pictured: Sarah Cohen, LCSW (center); Maria H. Rahmandar, MD (right)

Make an Appointment

For a new appointment, please call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC). Lurie Children’s KIDS DOC staff will help youth and families set up a formal intake phone call with the program social worker. These intake calls help us better understand your needs and expectations prior to a clinical appointment. These calls also provide patients and families with an opportunity to ask additional preliminary questions about our practice.

**Please note that the Mental Health in Primary Care Program does not manage eating disorders. If you need referrals, please call KIDS DOC at 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC). 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Can I Expect at My First Appointment?
    All new patients arrive 20 minutes prior to their appointment in order to complete questionnaires about the patients’ concerns. Both parents and patients may be asked to complete these assessments. This paperwork provides us with additional insights into your needs to helps us to make the most of your appointment time. Our pediatricians ensure take their time with patients and families during appointment, often meeting with the family together in addition to meeting separately with both patients and guardians.

  • Do I Need to Switch My Primary Care Physician to Participate in This Clinic?
    No, our physicians often work in collaboration with primary care providers, providing clear communication, ongoing support, and a continuity of care for shared patients.

  • Do I Need to Have a Therapist to Access These Services?
    We believe that therapy is an integral component to mental health support. For patients who do not currently have a therapist, our program social worker will provide referrals. When needed, patients may be provided with referrals to a psychiatrist if more specialized care is needed.

Philanthropy

Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. The Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for adolescents and young adults. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at foundation@luriechildrens.org or call 312.227.7500

 Maria H. Rahmandar, MD

Maria H. Rahmandar, MD

Attending Physician, Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine

Call 1.800.543.7362

Claudio Rivera

Claudio Rivera, PhD

Psychologist, The Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

Call 1.800.543.7362

Lisa K. Simons, MD

Lisa K. Simons, MD

Attending Physician, Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine

Call 1.800.543.7362