Going to the doctor can be a frightening experience for some kids, and a visit to the psychiatrist can be even more unnerving. So a Washington University psychiatrist has written a childrens book about what happens on a visit to the psychiatrists office and why some kids receive psychiatric care. The idea is to make the experience of going to the psychiatrist less stressful and to inform healthy children that getting psychiatric care isnt all that different from visiting the pediatrician or the dentist.
A GOOD DEAL OF RESEARCH IS NOW SUGGESTING THAT EARLY ASSESSMENT AND DIAGNOSIS OF PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO GOOD OUTCOMES IN CHILDREN, AND A WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY CHILD PSYCHIATRIST HAS WRITTEN A CHILDRENS BOOK THATS DESIGNED TO HELP GET THAT WORD OUT, AS WELL AS TO MAKE KIDS MORE COMFORTABLE WITH THE IDEA OF SEEING A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. JIM DRYDEN HAS THE STORY
THERE ARE CHILDRENS BOOKS ABOUT ALL KINDS OF MEDICAL EXPERIENCES: VISITING THE DOCTOR, GOING TO THE DENTIST, GETTING GLASSES, AND WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY CHILD PSYCHIATRIST MINI TANDON HAS NOW ADDED A VISIT TO A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO THAT LIST.
(act) :20 o/c these services
I get questions from parents on how to describe to their children
why theyre going to see a mental health professional, what to
expect from the visit. Were starting to realize, in psychiatry,
that early assessment and diagnosis is key, and we want to
destigmatize the chance and opportunity for a child to go to
get these services.
WITH RESEARCH POINTING TO THE IDEA THAT EARLY ASSESSMENT AND DIAGNOSIS OF PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS IS IMPORTANT TO GOOD OUTCOMES, TANDON HOPES THE BOOK WILL HELP SPREAD THE WORD IN THE COMMUNITY. SHES ALSO TAKING THE BOOK TO SCHOOLS TO TRY AND TRANSMIT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES IN CHILDREN, NOT JUST TO HELP KIDS WHO MAY NEED TO SEE SOMEONE, BUT TO RAISE AWARENESS AMONG ALL SCHOOLCHILDREN.
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But also to feel comfortable about peers and friends and
colleagues and students in their classes who may have such
problems so that there is a growing awareness in education,
less stigma and seeking of treatment of mental health
services at all ages.
TANDONS BOOK IS CALLED DR. MINI MENTAL HEALTH MEETS WILLIE WANNAKNOW. HES A BOY WHO HAS TO VISIT THE PSYCHIATRIST FOR TREATMENT OF ADHD AND TICS THAT OFTEN MAKE HIM DISRUPTIVE IN SCHOOL.
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ADHD occurs in about 5 to 8 percent of school-age children
and, probably, about the same in preschool-age children, and
so it is likely that people of these age bracket in schools
will see and have other peers who are hyperactive, impulsive,
inattentive, off task. And I wanted to start with more common
disorders so that people feel like they can relate, and also
to destigmatize something thats not that rare.
SHE SAYS MAY HELP SCHOOLS, NOT ONLY BY HELPING KIDS AND PARENTS RECOGNIZE THAT SEEING A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL ISNT ALL THAT SCARY, BUT ALSO BY HELPING OTHER KIDS UNDERSTAND MORE.
(act) :15 o/c our disorders
And theyre trying to help their children, and their students,
understand that these disorders exist. Theyre real. They
affect their peers. And so I am hoping that by reaching the
schools, that we are actually trying to demystify some of
AND IDEALLY, TANDON SAYS, BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS WILL NOT ONLY IMPROVE AWARENESS IN SCHOOLS, BUT ALSO COMPASSION.
(act) :16 o/c early ages
This person may have something that I dont have, and thats
why theyre often getting into trouble. So the idea of the
book is actually not necessarily to make a visit to the office
less scary. Its the idea of destigmatizing mental health as
a whole, in early ages.
IN THE FUTURE, TANDON HOPES TO WRITE MORE CHILDRENS BOOKS ABOUT KIDS WITH OTHER PROBLEMS, SUCH AS AUTISM AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE, INCLUDING SMOKING. IM JIM DRYDEN…