What is it?
Psychiatry is the branch of medicine that addresses issues with mental health. Child psychiatrists are medical doctors specializing in mental health issues faced by children and youth, typically up to 18 years of age. There are two child psychiatrists on the territory, one of whom also does autism testing. Some communities have Mental Health Nurses, who can help provide mental health services for children and youth.
Who is it for?
Child psychiatry is for children and youth (up to 18 years old) struggling with mental health. This includes children experiencing depression, severe anxiety, trauma, substance abuse and/or other issues.
The program also can serve older youth in exceptional cases, such as with individuals with special needs.
Where is it offered?
You can receive child psychiatry services either in person or by telehealth at your CMC, or in Montreal at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
What is it like?
For you and your child’s first meeting, your child is first seen alone with the psychiatrist; if needed, a Cree interpreter will be provided. Then, the psychiatrist will see your child along with you or another guardian. In this meeting we will talk about your child’s experiences and symptoms to better understand the causes of mental suffering. Together, we will then make a plan to address it. This plan can include psychotherapy, medication, referral to treatment programs, lifestyle changes or alternative treatments.
In follow-up appointments, we will review how your child is feeling and how the treatment plan is going. We can make changes as needed.
How long does it last?
The first meeting with the psychiatrist usually lasts 1-2 hours. Follow-up meetings usually last between 30 minutes to 1 ½ hours, depending on your specific needs.
How can I get this service?
You must first meet with a pediatrician or family doctor, who will refer your child to receive psychiatric services.
Where can I learn more?
To learn more, you can talk to your CMC nurse or physician.