Treating children for their mental health

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 very often requires broader, multidisciplinary professional input and so, unless you are seeking a diagnosis of ADHD for your child, (you can read more about ADHD in Children and Adolescents here,) we can only take on full referrals from parents or guardians with the consent and support of a GP.

Taking the First Step

Deciding that your child needs to see a psychiatrist is a pretty daunting prospect. You are obviously very worried about your child or you wouldn’t be reading this, but parents or carers are often very unsure as to the true nature of the issues that need to be addressed and are quite often not even certain quite how seeing a psychiatrist might help.

Therefore, to start things off, we organise for a parent or guardian to speak to a suitably specialised child and adolescent psychiatrist for an initial half hour advice consultation before taking a booking to see your child.

That first interview may be all that you need – the psychiatrist will help you to understand and define the issues that you are worried about and advise you if they think that the case is one that is suitable for us to take on or if you would be better off seeking help from another source. The 30 minute consultation will always result in a letter, setting out a proposed plan for you.

If the psychiatrist thinks that we can help they will normally arrange with you for the follow up appointment(s) at the end of this initial interview and have some forms sent out for you, your child’s teachers, and perhaps the child(ren) involved to fill in and return before the next consultation.

During the assessment process, reports from any previous assessments by the school or via your GP may also be requested as they form a helpful part of the diagnostic process. To talk about a child we will have to have consent from a parent or carer holding parental responsibility to liaise with the child’s GP and any other key professionals, including their school.

If you would like to set up an initial half hour discussion with a suitably qualified psychiatrist, please call us on 033 0124 1980

Does it cost more to have a consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist?

For the initial consultation it is actually less! (but it is only for 30 minutes.) We charge £200 for this 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.

However, if you do need to have a number of interviews and other specialists need to be involved, costs can easily mount up, so the basic answer is yes, it can cost more – but we will make sure that we let you know what sort of costs you will be incurring as soon as we can define the issues and give you a proposed plan.

What information will the psychiatrist need before that initial 30 minute consultation?

The more relevant information you can provide before talking to the psychiatrist, the more help they can be. Therefore we will ask you to fill out a form before your consultation which will ask you the following qeustions:

  • The reason you are seeking a psychiatrist’s advice.
  • What you hope to achieve from seeing a psychiatrist.
  • What, if any, previous experience of CAMHS help and support you have had, and what has worked and what didn’t work?
  • Whether your child has an EHCP in place or Learning Difficulties/Disabilities.
  • Whether there are any other professionals currently involved in working with your child.
  • What your family structure is.
  • What previous diagnoses, (psychiatric and physical), your child has received.
  • What, if any, medication your child is taking.
  • If they have any allergies.
  • If you have parental responsibility.
  • Whether there are any safeguarding or risk issues that we should be aware of.

Further Reading