A Message from Dr. Alex Allen, PhD About Joining Brightline

Dr. Alex Allen, VP Clinical, Brightline

Meet Lucy

The conversation had come up before, many times, with countless families. This time it was particularly hard. Maybe because the child’s course of treatment had been so challenging. Maybe because the family lived too far from the hospital to return for routine outpatient care, like behavioral health, but the child still needed support.

As the psychologist on the pediatric oncology unit, I met eight year old Lucy and her parents a few hours after they received her diagnosis. Over the next two years, I worked with Lucy on anxiety when she had to undergo procedures, food refusal when the chemo made everything taste awful, and with her parents when they questioned how to talk with her about her medical care.

When she finally reached the end of her treatment, it was time to celebrate and to transition her to a therapist in her home community. She needed a therapist to continue to work with her, facilitating her adjustment back to school, communicating with occupational therapy for her ongoing needs, and supporting her parents. Like so many other times, our team could not identify a behavioral health center in Lucy’s community with availability and expertise in an interdisciplinary approach. Lucy had a long road ahead of her adjusting back to school, peers, and medical follow-ups. She needed behavioral health care that just did not exist in her proximity.

Navigating Pediatric Behavioral Health is challenging, at best

As a clinical child psychologist, I have spent my career working with children and families to provide treatment and support during periods of great stress. I work with children who are living with the impact of anxiety, depression, family stress, behavioral concerns, ADHD, and other conditions.Through behavioral science, we have treatments that we know will help the majority of children living with these symptoms to feel better and get back to their childhood unencumbered. The process for families to obtain this care, however, is opaque, expensive, and circuitous. I see the dire lack of resources for children and families through my own lengthy waitlist and lack of community resources for referrals. A family already coping with children’s behavioral health challenges shouldn’t be struggling so profoundly to find and obtain treatment for their children. This will change with Brightline.

I am beyond excited to join Brightline as the psychologist leading clinical strategy. I am partnering with Brightline founders (Naomi Allen and Giovanni Colella) and the team to create a behavioral health home for children and families that will eliminate the friction for parents in finding and navigating care. Children receiving care at Emilio will be met with a team of experienced, passionate clinicians who work together across disciplines to promote children’s health. Psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational and speech therapists, licensed counselors and social workers — all on the same team, in the same clinic, communicating and working seamlessly together to provide the very best integrated behavioral health care.

Children are the best people on the planet. They tend to experience their moments fully, which many of us forget how to do by adulthood. Children are resilient, but, when children are impacted by behavioral health conditions, finding the right treatment as early as possible is so important. Children living with behavioral health conditions face challenges engaging in their lives — school, family life, peers — because of the interference of symptoms such as fear, irritability, anger, and sadness. As the grownups on the globe, we owe it to all of our children to do better by them with behavioral health care, and through changing the care model, we can.

Brightline will help children get the care they need, faster. Parents will be given the resources to be full participants in their children’s behavioral health care and supported every step of the way. With Brightline’s technology-enabled approach to integrated behavioral health, children with multiple needs can be served by providers at one center, parents can utilize telehealth sessions to accommodate their schedules, and coaches will work with families through the mobile platform to coordinate care and guide parent-led treatments.

Getting children the care they need and witnessing the change families experience has been my professional mission. I am deeply grateful to be part of Brightline, a truly mission-driven company seeking to change behavioral health care for children and families. We look forward to supporting your family.

Warmly,

Dr. Alex Allen

From the team at Brightline, the first place where the best of technology & behavioral health care unite in an extraordinary experience for children & families.