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Kids book on psychiatry

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 children’s book about what happens on a visit to the psychiatrist’s 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 isn’t 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 CHILDREN’S BOOK THAT’S 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 CHILDREN’S 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 they’re going to see a mental health professional, what to

expect from the visit. We’re 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. SHE’S 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.

(act) :17 o/c all ages

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.

TANDON’S BOOK IS CALLED DR. MINI MENTAL HEALTH MEETS WILLIE WANNAKNOW. HE’S A BOY WHO HAS TO VISIT THE PSYCHIATRIST FOR TREATMENT OF ADHD AND TICS THAT OFTEN MAKE HIM DISRUPTIVE IN SCHOOL.

(act) :24 o/c that rare

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 that’s not that rare.

SHE SAYS MAY HELP SCHOOLS, NOT ONLY BY HELPING KIDS AND PARENTS RECOGNIZE THAT SEEING A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL ISN’T ALL THAT SCARY, BUT ALSO BY HELPING OTHER KIDS UNDERSTAND MORE.

(act) :15 o/c our disorders

And they’re trying to help their children, and their students,

understand that these disorders exist. They’re real. They

affect their peers. And so I am hoping that by reaching the

schools, that we are actually trying to demystify some of

our disorders.

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 don’t have, and that’s

why they’re often getting into trouble. So the idea of the

book is actually not necessarily to make a visit to the office

less scary. It’s the idea of destigmatizing mental health as

a whole, in early ages.

IN THE FUTURE, TANDON HOPES TO WRITE MORE CHILDREN’S BOOKS ABOUT KIDS WITH OTHER PROBLEMS, SUCH AS AUTISM AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE, INCLUDING SMOKING. I’M JIM DRYDEN…

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