As you would expect, we deal with the mental health of children very carefully. It is not just that it may be difficult to work out if a child is presenting with a disordered pattern or just a variant of normal behaviour. There are overarching safeguarding considerations that obviously have to be put right at the centre of any treatment.
This almost always requires broader, multidisciplinary professional input and so, unless we you are seeking a diagnosis for a neurodevelopmental condition such as ADHD we can only take on referrals from parents or guardians with the support of their GP.
That being said, the breadth of medical experience of a specialist child and adolescent psychiatrist is essential as even a common mental health disorder often presents quite differently to how it might be seen in adults, so, if you are worried about your child and would like to talk to a specialist child and adolescent psychiatrist, please talk to your GP about making a private referral to us using our online GP referral form here
Taking the First Step
Having your child see a psychiatrist can be a very daunting first step – even more so if you are not sure quite how they can help.
Mental illness can affect Children and young people at almost any age, although not all conditions are equally likely. Presentations of mental illness can have a dramatic effect on young people’s lives and for those that care for them unless help is sought early.
Examples of the kind of disorders that can affect young people include depression, anxiety disorders (including OCD), trauma, and neuro-developmental conditions such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), Intellectual and learning disabilities, Tourettes or Autism (which includes Aspergers syndrome).
In adolescence there may also be concerning behaviours such as self-injury, or substance misuse, that present a risk of escalating into chronic or severe difficulties. It is also a time that is more likely to present with conditions such as eating disorders, bipolar and psychotic disorders.
It is important that we speak to you on the phone before you make a booking, so we can advise the best way forward. Please call us on 033 0124 1980 if you are considering whether a psychiatrist might be able to help your child.
How does Psychiatry-UK structure their child and adolescent service?
The first interview is always with the parents/carers. This is a 30 minute consultation which will result in a letter, setting out a proposed plan. If the psychiatrist thinks that the case is one that is suitable for us to take on they will normally arrange with the parents for the follow up appointment(s) at the end of this initial interview and have some forms sent out for teachers, parents and the child(ren) concerned to fill in and return before the next consultation.
Does it cost more to have a consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist?
For the initial interview it is actually less! We charge £150 for the initial interview and letter. If there is then a need for further consultations, these will cost more – but we will provide you with estimates for those costs with the initial letter.
How does the practice of child and adolescent psychiatry differ from that of adult psychiatry?
There is a more structured and carefully considered approach when dealing with children’s mental health. There are not only the potential issues of child protection and confidentiality, but also some cases are just not suited to being managed online and there are the dangers of missing things by not having all of the information: children are not always able to express their experiences clearly, adolescents are notoriously secretive and uncommunicative – and parents can be very blind to their own role, as well as desperately anxious and unable to have an objective understanding of what their much loved child is really experiencing.
Consequently, child and adolescent psychiatrists have to interview both parents/carers and the children concerned and they will normally seek information from their school teachers as well.