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Mental health tool, The Waco Guide, recognized by American Medical Association

Posted at 10:31 AM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 17:18:06-05

WACO, Texas — An app that was created in Waco is helping doctors around the country in their fight against mental illness.

The app is called the Waco Guide and it was created in a collaboration between Waco Family Medicine and Harvard Medical School.

The American Medical Association is recommending it as a tool to primary care physicians across the country.

Dr. Ryan Laschober, the Director of Waco Family Medicine Residency, says they created the app in response the growing mental health gap.

“Two out of three family medicine specialists, if they wanted to refer their patient to a psychiatrist, they couldn’t,” said Dr. Laschober.

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, one in five people suffers from mental illness each year. Since the Pandemic, the problem has only gotten worse.

According to Mental Health America, nearly two-thirds of children in Texas with depression receive no services at all.

“The epidemic has just continued to rise. So much so that the American Academy of Pediatrics recently declared the pediatric behavioral crisis a national emergency,” said Dr. Laschober.

To meet this growing need, Waco Family Medicine joined forces with faculty at Harvard University to create the Waco Guide.

Through the app, primary care physicians answer a string of questions about their patients to get advice about their care. The entire process takes about ten seconds.

The Waco Guide has already been downloaded thousands of times and is being used by doctors across the country. The app is tailored for doctors to use with kids, adults and pregnant women. 

You can learn more about the Waco Guide here.