INDIANAPOLIS – Riley Children’s Health is leading a statewide effort to help Hoosier kids get the mental health care they need.

Riley is working with more than 100 other individuals and organizations to come up with a long-term, statewide plan to address kids’ mental health needs, according to Gil Peri, president of Riley Children’s Health.

The number of kids in need of Riley’s mental health services has doubled compared to before the pandemic started, Peri said.

The response is going to require state and federal funding as well as help from donors, Peri said.

“What you could expect in this plan is a very community-based plan that really focuses on early intervention in schools and then looks at outpatient services to make sure we have enough capacity throughout the state and emergency stabilizations,” Peri explained.

The plan is expected to be released around the end of the year, Peri said.

In the short term, Riley Children’s Health is using a $4 million federally-funded grant, along with an additional $4 million from the Riley Children’s Foundation, to offer mental health services in pediatricians’ offices, Peri said.