Child Guidance Clinic at IMH
Ensure family members have adequate access to basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. Provide emotional support and assistance with planning for future developmental screening and guidance.
A one-day Infant Mental Health (IMH) workshop was held at Childhood Matters in Cork, Ireland. Thirty staff from non-clinical backgrounds (administration, horticulture, security) attended the workshop.
Mood & Anxiety Clinic
Studies have shown that children who suffer neglect, abuse and a lack of love in their early years may be at risk for emotional and behavioral problems. For example, children with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety can have difficulty concentrating at school or finding a job.
The Mood and Anxiety Clinic (MAC) offers comprehensive assessment, treatment planning and intervention for children who have mood and anxiety related issues. This includes behavioural issues, such as irritability, sleep disturbance and pathological video-gaming; as well as self-injury, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts or plans.
Abby Halloran, LCSW, IMH-E, is an experienced Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the skills and knowledge to provide psychotherapy to young children and their families. She is trained in Child Parent Psychotherapy and is nationally rostered as an endorsed Infant Mental Health specialist. She provides Reflective Clinical Consultation and Instructor Training for mental health professionals on topics related to therapeutic interventions with infants, children and their families.
The adolescents clinic at imh provides services for children and teens, with the aim of empowering them to become emotionally resilient and self-sufficient. Services include psychotherapy and psychiatric care. Psychotherapy is provided by our child and adolescent psychologists, with supervision from a child psychiatrist.
The clinic serves youths with a wide variety of problems. Typically, they are referred by their family or counsellors in the community. The most common presenting concerns include difficulties related to control, attention, mood and anger management.
The adolescents clinic also conducts research, including a recently completed study on the effectiveness of Omega-3 fatty acids in treating depression in teens. This project was funded by an IRG from the NMRC. In addition, the clinic hosts a full-time clinical internship for pre-doctoral psychology students. Various other research projects are also supported by the institute, including an IRG on adolescent mental health service utilisation.
A multifaceted home visiting program for families with infants/toddlers and young children with developmental, behavioral or emotional challenges. IMH-HV is delivered weekly in the family’s home by Master’s-level providers and includes therapeutic interventions with both the parent and child. IMH-HV can help meet needs related to parenting stress, promoting mental health and sensitive caregiving of medically fragile children, and reduce intergenerational transmission of trauma.
IMH specialists use a reflective stance to work with families in this setting, helping them develop their own capacities to cope with the intense emotional demands of caring for a medically complex infant. IMH-HV also provides a link for families to other specialized clinics and early intervention services. For example, if the family has a baby who needs frequent and repeated medical procedures, such as shots or blood draws, IMH-HV can help them navigate the complexities of these procedures by assisting with scheduling, navigating barriers to accessing service, and using narration to promote parental self-care.
Under the new Dutch Child & Youth Act, there are strict guidelines on when children with ADHD symptoms should be referred to special care. It is aimed at preventing not only overdiagnosis based on symptoms but also underdiagnosis with the risk of complications.
A psychiatric evaluation of the child is usually performed including detailed description of the symptoms, completion of rating scales for the patient and caregivers and questionnaires for both teachers and parents. In addition, medical evaluation is done to rule out possible medical causes of the symptoms.
Psychotherapy is often part of the treatment plan, especially cognitive-behavioural therapy for ADHD, which can help to improve functioning at home and school. In addition, psychiatric medication is prescribed if necessary, with stimulants being the first line of treatment for most children. Medication can be combined with behavioral strategies and Parent-Child Interaction Training. For many families, this is enough to restore functioning at home and school.