Eliza’a Wellness Pearls – Say No! to a Summer Filled with Screen Time

(Editor’s Note:  I am very pleased to begin a new series of posts by our clinic’s family coach and social worker, Eliza Pillard, entitled “Eliza’s Wellness Pearls,” featuring tips for child wellness and health promotion.  Stay tuned for more posts in the future and please feel free to suggest topics – DR) March is the […]

Why “Just” is Such a Dangerous Word in Mental Health

How many times have you heard a psychiatric diagnosis questioned based on the possibility that the behaviors are JUST something else.  You know the drill: “C’mon doc, are you sure this ADHD thing isn’t a fancy label for kids who are JUST (insert lazy, bad, spoiled, etc.)?” Another common one is “Can’t a kid JUST be […]

Thoughts on Mental Health Awareness Month

In case you missed the Hallmark commercial, May is Mental Health Awareness month and May 9 is Children’s Mental Health Awareness day.  Organizations are planning events across the country, including the Child Mind Institute’s, Speak Up for Kids campaign in which various professionals give free talks next week at different community sites.  My own talk […]

Tags: , ,

Access to Child Mental Health Care in Times of Shortage

It is no surprise to anyone working in primary care or mental health that access to child psychiatrists and other mental health experts is very difficult.  Here at the VCCYF, our own waitlist has grown to many many months despite everyone working on all cylinders.  Frustrations by parents, clinicians, and (yes) those of us here […]

Tags: ,

Antiquated Psychiatric Terms: Time to Retire “Organic,” “Functional,” “Acting Out,” and “BioPsychoSocial”

21st century neuroscience has done much to bring psychiatry and mental health into the modern age.  Our language, however, still lingers behind.  Four terms in particular deserve our scrutiny and, in the opinion of many in our field, some alterations. ORGANIC Why it doesn’t work:  This word used to be invoked when behavioral symptoms were […]

Prescribing Exercise

By Eliza Pillard, LiCSW One of the most important components to our Family Based Treatment Approach to child psychiatric issues here at the VCCYF is to “prescribe” our patients engagement in physical activity. Often this takes the form of recommending that a child be enrolled in a team sport, ideally every season.  For some families […]

Tags: , ,

Reconciling Divergent Patient Information: It’s About More Than Who’s Right

While many child mental health professional stress the importance of obtaining information from multiple sources (child, mother, father, teachers, etc.), it is less clear what exactly one should DO with this information.  This dilemma is highlighted in circumstances where the reports from different informants paint a very different picture of the same child.  In a […]

Family Based Treatment – Think About These 5 Areas

  by David Rettew, MD When many people think about child psychiatric treatment, what comes into their mind is medications.  While it is true that many medications can be an important part of a patient’s overall treatment plan, other areas also need to be considered towards providing comprehensive family-based care. In training medical students and […]