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Child & Youth Mental Health Algorithm - GPSC

Child & Youth Mental Health Algorithm - GPSC

ChildandYouthMentalHealthPSPModule lives. Patients can be helped to understand that taking treatments helps give themmore control over the illness.Clarification of roles and responsibilitiesThe clarification of roles and responsibilities will vary with the age of the child. Theimportant domains are: taking medication; keeping a record of symptoms;monitoring for side effects; arranging visits with the health care team; institutingemergency interventions if indicated. Discuss each of these items with appropriatefamily members and ensure that each family member understands and agrees totheir role and responsibility. This will not only help engage the family in thetreatment process but it may also improve care by improving treatment process.Feeling at homeThe health provider’s office should be a place in which all family members feel safeand supported. Having space where a family discussion can happen away frompublic view and public hearing is important when providing mental health care.Reception and support staff should be trained in basic understanding of mentaldisorders and in supportive techniques that can help parents and young people feelmore calm and welcomed.Consider the course available at MHFA Canada for Adults who Interact with YouthCourseError!Hyperlinkreferencenotvalid.http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.ca/EN/course/descriptions/Pages/MHFAforYouth.aspx)that works with children and youth and is available in Canada through theMHCC.Remember that there is a great deal of stigma against people and families who areliving with a mental disorder. It is essential the health provider and staff do notperpetuate stigma. The supportive environment created in the practitioner’s officecan go a long way to combat misperceptions and stigma.Knowing your limitsThe reality is that some patients and families present more challenges than othersand these families will require more intensive interventions – such as familytherapy. Primary care health providers do not usually have the skills or the time toResources - Lifespan of Mental Illnesses1910of

ChildandYouthMentalHealthPSPModule conduct in-depth family therapy. If the family is demonstrating substantialdifficulties that either increase stress in members or impede the effectiveness ofinterventions, then referral to specialty mental health services is indicated.Remember that many mental disorders run in families. For example, it is commonfor at least one parent of children who have ADHD to also have ADHD.The same is true for anxiety disorders and depression. In some cases, the diagnosisof a mental disorder in the child may shine the light on similar difficultiesexperienced by a parent but previously not recognized or not treated. This morecommonly occurs in ADHD but also with some anxiety disorders, particularly whena parent has a mild form of the illness. In such cases, diagnosis and treatment forthe parent(s) or other family members (such as siblings) is indicated.Establishing a positive rapport and exchange between practitioner and young clientthat embraces the opportunity of working with the family unit and communitysupport organizations is often essential before pursuing the hereditary link withparents who may be contending with identical symptoms/diagnoses. Without thisrelationship-building component, young clients, and often their families, willdisengage and refrain from continuing treatment options.Depending on the disorder and its severity, treatment can often be conducted bythe same primary care provider who is treating the child. This single provider modelmay be challenged by some mental health professionals who adhere to nonvalidatedtreatment “truths” that demand different mental health providers fordifferent family members. The reality is that there is no a priori reason to demand adifferent provider for different family members when treating mental disorders inprimary care. The same is not done for other chronic disorders – such as diabetes.Indeed, a good argument can be made that a single provider working with differentfamily members will have a much better understanding of both the family andpersonal issues that arise during the treatment process. In some locations (forexample, isolated communities) there will be little or no choice of provider sohaving a different provider for different family members will not be possibleanyway.4. Parenting OverviewMany parents will experience a number of difficulties and express numerousconcerns regarding how to parent a young person who has a mental disorder. ThereResources - Lifespan of Mental Illnesses1911of

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