Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation
At the Caribbean Center for Child Development the first step in receiving the right help for a mental health problem is receiving a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation. We may ask for children, parents’ permission to contact other significant people such as the family physician, school personnel, or other relatives to gather additional information. We consider all aspects of one’s situation when determining the best treatment plan – including information about health, illness and past treatment (medical and psychiatric); family health; child development; academic/work performance and friends; family relationships. A thorough psychiatric interview; and if necessary, laboratory studies such as blood tests, imaging studies, or special assessments (for example, psychological, educational, speech and language evaluations) may also be required for a patient. We work closely with patients and their family members from the very beginning to ensure that we have identified the key problems and are adequately addressing each of them.
At the Caribbean Center for Child Development, our psychiatrists take a conservative approach to prescribing medicine, and reserve this option only for instances where the potential benefits of treatment outweigh the risks. Some problems are so severe and persistent that they would have serious negative consequences for the patient and family if untreated, and psychotherapy may be more effective if combined with medication. As we are learning more about the safety and efficacy of most psychotropic medications in children, we help patients and families stay as informed as possible regarding potential side effects and closely monitor the progress of patients on medication prescribed.