Understandably, seeking mental health support for your child can be a particularly anxiety-provoking time and might feel like an overwhelming task. It may even be the case that you’ve already sought opinions from several different specialists and haven’t got any answers. Here at Blue Tree Clinic our Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and therapy team are dedicated to providing a supportive experience for both you and your child and aim to make the whole process as simple as possible. Below we’ve outlined a few key bits of information you might want to read through if you are considering accessing mental health treatments for your child.
Dr Jemma Theivendran
Why would my child need to see a child psychiatrist?
Day to day life for children and teenagers can be difficult for any number of reasons. Have you noticed that they have been more frustrated or overwhelmed than usual? Perhaps they are lashing out or becoming more withdrawn from their friends or the family. It can be difficult for anyone to express what might be troubling them, often for younger people, this can result in challenging behaviours and heightened emotions or difficulty regulating them. This can lead to feelings of shame, loneliness, trouble concentrating and an inability to communicate effectively.
It might be hard to identify what the main problem is, whether you are worried your child might have ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), anxiety or depression from bullying, a learning difficulty, eating disorder or any number of other difficulties. Perhaps there have been changes in home dynamics or teachers have noticed that your child might require more specialised attention and you may be unsure where to start. Whatever your child might be struggling with, here at Blue Tree, our aim is to help you clarify what may be going on and provide added support for coping with and managing the challenges they may be experiencing.
How can a Child and Adolescent psychiatrist help?
A Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist is a medical doctor that specialises in assessing children and young people and providing a management plan to support child and parent moving forward. Assessments provided are in depth and aim to gather lots of detail, not only about psychological factors, but biological history and social or environmental contributors that may provide a more comprehensive and well-rounded picture of what has been going on. This might usually involve thinking about any experiences in the family home or in the schooling or learning environment that may have had an impact throughout this developmental life stage. Their expert and personalised care provides a supportive space to explore any concerns you or your child may have and, where appropriate, might provide a diagnosis in order to inform which course of treatment would best suit the unique and individual needs of the young person.
Here at Blue Tree, we also provide specialised Child Educational Assessments and Autism Assessments with our psychologists, if this is something you believe your child could benefit from. This can also be beneficial if you feel your child may require more assistance in education or practical-support and these assessments provide evidence that can inform decisions and facilitate accessing such additional types of help.
Following these in-depth assessments you will collaboratively create a treatment plan with the psychiatrist. This will ensure you stay involved in sharing decisions about the care your child receives. As a medical professional your psychiatrist will be a registered doctor, specialised in psychiatry and insured to practice medicine, they are required to have further training and experience working closely with children in this capacity. Due to this comprehensive training, they can include medication (if required) as well as psychological therapies when tailoring the treatment plan directly to the needs of the child.
What can Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists treat?
As experts in the field, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists are trained to provide a multifaceted approach to treatment, taking into account family dynamics, child development patterns, behaviour and psychological wellbeing. As a result, they are able to provide treatment for a number of difficulties with varying complexity
Who do I need to talk to?
If your child is under 18 and experiencing behavioural, emotional or educational difficulties and you feel they may benefit from having an assessment with a psychiatrist, contact us now to book a consultation or to find out more. We have recently welcomed Dr.Jemma Theivendran to the Blue Tree Team, a friendly and experienced Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist committed to creating a supportive environment for children and young people experiencing any number of challenges, as well as their families.
Dedicated to providing care in the NHS, mental health charities and private sector, she has trained across disciplines including nutrition to provide a well-rounded and holistic approach to aiding children and young people when seeking help for their mental health. We also understand that this may be a particularly overwhelming time for the whole family and, if you would like to discuss support options for you as a care-giver or for the rest of the family, please contact us now.