"Patients often make progress from being extremely unwell to getting back to school and leading a full, productive life. This hopeful aspect of the specialty is extremely rewarding and fulfilling"
Child and adolescent psychiatrists work with children and young people who have mental health problems.
They deal with a wide range of mental health problems, including emotional and psychiatric problems. Much of the work is to identify the problem for the young people and advise on what may help.
How you will help
Mental health problems in childhood as have an enormous impact on child development and the future outcome of affected children.
The stress and impact on families is also immense.
By treating and curing children with mental health problems, not only can pain be quelled, but whole life trajectories can be altered.
Identifying disorders early means that you have a better chance at successful treatment and, in some cases, cure.
Child psychiatrists need an ability to understand issues from a range of perspectives as it usually involves working with the child/young person’s carers as well as the child or young person.
Where you will work
As a psychiatrist in CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), most of your work will take place in outpatient settings and clinics, though there are some inpatients settings in crisis or with serious mental health problems.
You’ll work as part of a multidisciplinary service including other child mental health professionals. You’ll also work in liaison with other agencies such as schools and social services.
Child psychiatry is a fascinating specialty which is undersubscribed in comparison to paediatrics, with which it has a large cross-over.
There are increasing opportunities to sub-specialise, and to pursue other career advancing activities, such as teaching or research, as well as your life outside psychiatry.