Message from Division Lead, Teresa (Terry) Bennett
Welcome to the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Children with mental illness and developmental disabilities deserve expert, evidence-based care that is informed by an understanding of the biological and environmental factors that shape their well-being and healthy development. Our academic division has strong educational and research initiatives, allowing collaborations between researchers, educators, clinicians, community-based service providers and knowledge leaders.
Our clinical program, the child and youth mental health program, and the department of child and adolescent psychiatry at McMaster Children’s Hospital provide services for children and youth up to age 18, and their families, who are dealing with mental health concerns.
We provide a variety of services that span the continuum of care, including a community education and the family resource centre, child and youth emergency mental health services (mental health assessment unit, ambulatory services, day hospital, General Psychiatry services, and inpatient services. We are located at two sites, including McMaster Children’s Hospital and Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre. Care is provided by multidisciplinary teams including child psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social work, child and youth workers, occupational therapy, and pharmacy.
The Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers excellent educational opportunities available to learners at many levels in clinical and non-clinical environments.
Many of our faculty members are accomplished researchers, and work on projects that aim to improve the mental health and developmental path of children and youth. We are proud to collaborate with the Offord Centre for Child Studies and the McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART) in a shared mission to enhance the mental health and well-being of children with mental health and neurodevelopmental disabilities. We are progressively strengthening the link between the clinical program and academic/research initiatives.
We know that one in five Canadian children and youth have mental health struggles. Our academic division is committed to working to understand and assist these children, youth, and families through evidence-based, family-centered clinical services, strong educational and training initiatives, and research projects, with attention to partnerships with other care providers, schools, communities, and government.
Educational opportunities are available to medical students, psychiatry residents, including PGY-3, and learners at many levels from other programs for core or elective experiences within the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. We also have a Child Subspecialty Residency Program which accepts one to two subspecialty residents each year. Educational experiences include clinical experiences (i.e.., assessment and treatment at individual, family, and group levels), problem-based learning formats and critical appraisal.
The problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum, featured in the final year of the child subspecialty residency, is an interdisciplinary program involving both child psychiatry residents and child psychology learners who are in their senior years of training. This curriculum is facilitated by interdisciplinary faculty and has enabled residents to learn about each other’s roles, create learning objectives ranging from treatment to ethics considerations and has mirrored the important teamwork we do in clinical life in supporting youth and their families.
The clinical program most closely associated with the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is the child and youth mental health program. We provide a variety of services that span the continuum of care and are always evolving to meet changing needs of children, youth, and families. We serve local and regional families at two sites, including McMaster Children’s Hospital and Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre, including both on-site and virtual care.
The Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is adopting a measurement-based care approach using clinic, hospital, and other data. We have leveraged technology enabled virtual care for outpatient services, emergency psychiatry services, day treatment services, and evidence-based family psycho-educational workshops.
Many of the faculty members and clinicians within the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry are involved in research that aims to improve the mental health and developmental path of children and youth. Many of us are also a part of and/or collaborate with the Offord Centre for Child Studies and the McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART). We continue to strengthen the link between the clinical program and academic/research initiatives of the individual researchers within the child and youth mental health program as well as related initiatives, with the objective of increasing these clinical/research/academic links.
We invite you to learn more about the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the opportunities that are available at McMaster University. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.