Child psychiatrists are physicians trained in child development, pediatric mental health disorders, talk therapy and medical care for children and adolescents suffering from a range of mental health problems: depression, anxiety, psychosis, neurodevelopment disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders. There are not enough child and adolescent psychiatrists to serve all of the needs of the US population of pediatric patients with psychiatric disorders. However, mental health and behavioral disorders are among the most prevalent and disabling health problems faced by young people. As a Latina, bilingual psychiatrist I also am one of a few child psychiatrists in the country who can serve Spanish speaking children and families. But to be honest, I wish we had more child and adolescent psychiatrists in the country to serve all of the young people who need care. I also believe that child psychiatrists should not have their practice limited to providing pharmacological treatments (medication), as is the trend, but given the opportunity to offer integrated care (therapy, family and other interventions that may also include medications if needed) for helping children and adolescents.
I want to welcome you to this blog. I hope you visit frequently. I hope to offer you some helpful information that I share with you from my experience as a practicing child psychiatrist who has worked in diverse settings and with many families for over 15 years. Families, youth and medical providers often have many questions about mental illness or behavioral health problems in children. I can’t offer you specific medical advise but I hope we can enter in a dialogue about the challenges, and opportunities for better addressing the needs of our children especially the most vulnerable.