Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Our child and adolescent psychiatrists provide services for children experiencing developmental or behavior problems.
Explore Our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital offers outpatient and inpatient psychiatric services for children and adolescents. Our physicians are board-certified in child and adolescent psychiatry and adult psychiatry and they trained at some of the top medical schools in the country. In addition to providing clinical care, they help educate the next generation of pediatric psychiatrists in the psychiatry residency program at Memorial Regional Hospital.
Our physicians offer outpatient mental health services at Memorial Regional Hospital with in-person and telehealth appointments by referral. Inpatient psychiatric care takes place at the Child and Adolescent Assessment Treatment Service (CATS) Unit at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
We require a physician referral for child and adolescent psychiatry services. If your child needs to see a psychiatrist, please talk to their pediatrician.
Our team only offers inpatient psychiatry services to children hospitalized at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Outpatient appointments are not currently available.
Inpatient Services: Child and Adolescent Assessment Treatment Service (CATS) Unit
Our CATS Unit is for patients up to age 18, admitted under the care of our psychiatric team, after coming to the emergency department due to their mental state. The main reasons people are admitted to the unit include:
- severe depression,
- other mood disorders, and
- suicidal thoughts or attempts.
Other causes include severe psychotic disorders, bipolar disorders and disruptive behavior.
What to Expect
Psychiatrists, mental health therapists, nurses, pharmacists, and others work as a team to provide holistic care. Patients receive a complete psychiatric and psychosocial assessment. The team will use this information, along with family input, to develop an individualized treatment plan that may include the following:
- Individual, group and family therapy
- Targeted, evidence-based use of medication
- Various forms of creative arts therapy, such as art therapy, music therapy and other activities, to encourage self-expression
The average length of stay in the unit is three to seven days. Children leave the CATS Unit with a follow-up care plan. Our team can communicate with the child’s school and outpatient mental health providers or pediatrician to help ease the transition back into the community.
Children and adolescents seeking outpatient psychiatric treatment may be experiencing depression, anxiety, school challenges, social difficulties, and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. In addition, some have been diagnosed with an illness such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, or cardiac conditions. These patients are typically referred to us by a specialty clinic at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and need help coping with the emotional and learning challenges they may face.
Child and adolescent psychiatrists and a licensed clinical social worker provide our outpatient services. They believe in a holistic approach that includes parental consultation and family therapy as needed.
- The first step is for the provider to complete a psychiatric and/or psychosocial assessment.
- The next step is for them to provide a diagnosis and individualized treatment plan.
- Our treatment goals are to minimize risk to the child and help them reach their highest academic, social, and behavioral potential.
- Treatment may include evidence-based psychotherapy (sometimes called “talk therapy”) and medication if indicated.
Our team includes board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists and a non-physician social worker who provides mental health therapy. When our social worker’s patients need medication, they work with a psychiatrist who can help with that process. These caring professionals work with families to help children struggling to feel better, develop problem-solving skills and enjoy life again.
Mental Health Resources
If you feel your child is in crisis, or a danger to themselves or others, call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room for evaluation. You can also contact the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling or texting 988.
The following links are to services designed to address issues regarding communication, problem solving, coping, and self-esteem.
Local Mental Health Resources
- 211 Broward
- National Alliance on Mental Illness – Broward County
- Children’s Services Council of Broward County