Psychiatry: children, youth and the elderly

Psychiatry was founded for people with psychological problems. An attempt is made to treat these psychological problems tailor-made to the patient. As a result, different types of psychiatry have been created so that people of the same age spend more time together. This ensures that child psychiatrists gain more knowledge about child psychiatry because they only see children with psychological problems. Furthermore, the psychiatrists also learn to get a better feel for the target group they work with.

What is psychiatry?

Psychiatry is mainly concerned with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. The goal is to reduce psychological suffering and increase the well-being of both the patient and the environment.

Child psychiatry and youth psychiatry

The child and adolescent psychiatry (K service) is intended for children or young people up to 18 years old. The complaints that lead to child and adolescent psychiatry can be viewed very broadly. In general, this concerns children or young people whose problems are too serious to carry out treatment on an outpatient basis. An example of this is serious emotional problems (anxiety, depression,…).

What is striking in child and adolescent psychiatry is that younger children are separated from adolescents by age groups. For example, you have a subdivision of three groups, namely young children (0-5 years), children (6-11 years) and adolescents (12-17 years).

Wat are they doing?

Child psychiatry has three tasks: crisis care, observation and treatment of minor patients. Crisis care means that people in acute psychosocial need are cared for. The first weeks that a client stays in the department are all about observation and diagnostics, it is very important that a certain structure is strived for and that safety is created. The treatment phase only starts after 5-6 weeks. Because it concerns very different problems, an individual treatment plan must be drawn up each time. Only in this way can the treatment process proceed efficiently .

In child and adolescent psychiatry, the aim is to provide the most targeted treatment and intervention possible to tackle the problems of children and young people. This can be done using care units (treatment plans that have been developed per department/target group). Intensive therapy is an important factor in the treatment, for example to teach children/young people to gain more control over their symptoms.

What does the team consist of?

Just like in other settings within psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry works in a multidisciplinary manner. It is the child psychiatrists who take charge of a multidisciplinary team. When the team draws up a treatment plan, the aim is for short-term treatment so as not to keep the children or young people from the home environment for too long. If it is no longer possible to send them back to their home situation, a longer-term solution will be sought. An example of a longer-term solution is placement in a foster family or support home.

Parent psychiatry

Society talks about geriatric psychiatry when a person has reached the age of 60 to 65. Geriatric psychiatry is usually divided into three departments, including two residential departments (where people stay day and night) that make a distinction between admission and treatment for psychotic vulnerability on the one hand and admission and treatment for depression, anxiety, personality disorder and addiction on the other. Finally, the psychiatric hospital also has a department where clients can come during the day (day treatment), this mainly concerns acute or long-term care for very diverse target groups.

What do the departments do?

In general, the three departments described above focus on similar points. All three attach great importance to observation, diagnosis and treatment. In addition to the similar points, they all have their own accents.

Residential department 1

The first residential department focuses on psychotic problems, such as schizophrenia and delusional disorders. The focus is first on reducing the symptoms, which are usually very serious when they arrive. Once the care services succeed in this with the help of medication and psychotherapy, among other things, the goal of this department is to bring the clients back into society as functionally as possible. This takes into account the limitations associated with a psychotic disorder.

Residential department 2

In the other residential department, all problems can be discussed except psychotic ones. They mainly see people with depression, addiction, anxiety or personality disorders appearing here. Care must be strongly focused on the individual client, as the target group is very diverse within this department.

Group programs are also used within this department. This starts with an orientation group where strengths and vulnerabilities are identified through observation and diagnostics. Afterwards, an activity group can also be used to activate the clients and provide a certain structure.

Non-residential department

The day treatment (non-residential) is aimed at patients who need extra support after their admission. So we are talking about a group that lives partly independently of the hospital, but is not yet ready to integrate back into society without any form of follow-up. In day treatment, the focus is on recovery-oriented care.

What does the team consist of?

Each department has a broadly specialized team that, in addition to a psychiatrist and psychologist, also includes social workers, psychiatric nurses, healthcare professionals, occupational therapists and creative therapists. In addition to the department team, there is also thorough collaboration with a network (GP, physiotherapist, etc.).

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  • PAAZ: psychiatric department of general hospital

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