Psychiatrists & Medication

What is the role of a psychiatrist...

  • Diagnose and treat mental illnesses with a focus on physical impacts and medication management. Can prescribe and manage medication. First visit is usually a 1 hour assessment. Other information may be requested to assist in the diagnosis (school reports, blood tests, etc). Sessions are typically 15-30 minute check-ins as needed.
  • With your consent, health information may be shared with other health professionals to assist with treatment.
  • The therapist and psychiatrist can work together to create a treatment plan. This can be effective because a therapist who is seeing a patient once a week can share their perspective which gives the psychiatrist a broader view of your child’s needs. The psychiatrist can alter the treatment plan to respond to new issues. It can also be helpful to keep your pediatrician informed.

Handouts and information provided by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry...

Why would I see a psychiatrist?

Your Pediatrician or Doctor may recommend your child sees a psychiatrist if they:

  • struggle to complete daily tasks or to enjoy themselves
  • express suicidal ideas or have self-harmed
  • are likely to need medication as part of their treatment
  • require admission to hospital
  • have hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there) or delusions (fixed ideas that are not true)
  • have complex needs that require a team of doctors and other professionals
    continue to have problems despite help from other mental health professionals.

They can help to manage a broad range of conditions, including:

  • depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, self-harming, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, drug and alcohol issues
  • trauma or stress-related disorders
  • psychological aspects of disability or developmental conditions
  • complex medical issues that have psychological aspects