Child Psychiatry 2017

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Child Psychiatry Seminar

21st October 2017

Serena Hotel, Faisalabad


The Child Psychiatry Seminar at Serena Hotel Faisalabad on 21st of October 2017 which was  organized by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Faisalabad Medical University (FMU).

Prof. Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad Dogar who was the chief organizer, delivered the welcoming speech and gave a detailed presentation regarding ongoing services and emphasis on future needs regarding child psychiatry. He walked the audience through the evolution of the psychiatry department from establishing in 9 years to becoming a prestigious multidimensional mental health facility and center of excellence of teaching, contributing clinical services, research, community mental health, and interdepartmental liaison in the field of child & Adolesence psychiatry. Department is providing services in comprehensive assessment, management/training/treatment/therapeutic consultation, medication and stress management that are family services plans (IFP’s) for child related psychiatric disorders such as neurodevelopmental disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders, speech and language disorders etc.  

Dr. Nighat Haider, the clinical psychologist, initiated the proceedings by welcoming the distinguished guests and audience. She explained briefly the importance of child psychiatry and the purpose of this seminar.

Dr Shehriyar Jovindah, consultant psychiatrist working at Shoukat Khanum Menorial Cancer Hospital, Lahore, delivered a concise presentation regarding depression in children and adolescents. He explained that contrary to common belief, depression in children is far more common. He emphasized on training oneself to being able to identify depression in children as the presentation is different in them, mostly with somatic complaints like tummy ache, or just irritability. Especially in Pakistan there are more burdens of studies on children as compared with western world, school education being started at a very early age, leading to more stress and susceptibility to developing depression. Parents are reluctant to seek psychiatric help for their children because of stigma attached to it. Overall, males in Pakistan are not psychological minded. There is dire need of spreading awareness and educating the public in this matter.

Dr Nazish Imran associate professor and head of department of psychiatry, KEMU Lahore who educated the audience about pediatric anxiety disorders. She emphasized that anxiety disorders are the most common among childhood psychiatric problems and have significant adverse impact. She highlighted different types of anxiety disorders in light of DSM-5, and discussed basic principles of assessment like interviewing the young one on their own using age appropriate language, as well as the parents or close adults. She especially emphasized evaluating the parental level of stress/anxiety and parental practices.  She briefly discussed some tools of assessment for childhood anxiety disorders and stressed on multifaceted treatment referring CBT being the first line.

Miss Samreen Afzal, clinical psychologist, speech & language therapist highlighted the role of clinical psychologist and speech & language therapist in the filed of child psychiatry. She threw some light on the child psychiatric services being provided at the institute. She gave a brief account on services provided to kids with special needs like ID, ADHD, ASD, depression and anxiety disorders, and also addressing the worries and concerns of their parents, educating them regarding the illness and prognosis. She explained the role of behavior modification (ABA) methods and development of IEP’s by clinical psychologist while working with children. Role of speech therapist was also briefly discussed and different methodologies were being highlighted through following multimodal techniques. Her emphasis was more on team approach. 

Col. Dr. Nadeem Ahmad HOD psychiatry, CMH Sialkot delivered an interesting presentation on role of music therapy in childhood psychiatric disorders. He explained what music therapy really is and what principles are involved. It has social and humanistic psychological roots, and individuals of all age groups can benefit from it. It can affect areas of communication, cognition, physical, social, emotional and neurological functioning.

Dr Ayesha Minhas Head of child and adolescent psychiatry IOP, who enlightened the audience about ADHD. She comprehensively discussed the etiology, symptomatology and treatment plan for ADHD. She said that screening for ADHD should be part of every patient’s mental health assessment. And we should be cautious while assessing for ADHD as it’s becoming an over diagnosed condition, probably as a fashion.

Prof. Dr. M. Waqar Azeem who is renounced child and adolescent Psychiatrist in USA currently deputed in Qatar to help them built an ideal child and adolescent psychiatric facility. Who was gracious enough to come all the way from Qatar to join the seminar as a guest speaker and collaborative. He delivered his knowledge on topic of autism spectrum disorder- latest in prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment. He said that the prevalence is 2-5/10,000 according to DSM-4. And 8.9 to 11.7% in intellectually disabled. he discussed that diagnosis of ASD has shifted from categorical to dimensional. Autism, Asperger disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and PDDNOS all are collectively described as autism spectrum disorders. He showed an interesting video to the audience to help them understand how a child with ASD sees the world. He also raised a very important point and cleared by stating scientific research based evidence that there is no causation involved between vaccines and autism. Assessment for ASD involves interdisciplinary approach and treatment is multimodal. He said that speech therapy has proved to be beneficial and should be started as early as possible. And as for medication; start low and titrate slow.

Prof. Dr. Fareed Minhas (Co-Chairman, Board of Advanced Studies and Research Chair, Centre of Global Mental Health ​​ Director of International Collaborations ​ Rawalpindi Medical University) for concluding remarks. He thanked all the guest speakers, consultants and resident trainees from psychiatry and other specialties who joined the seminar, psychologists, parents, the organizers, and also surge laboratories for sponsoring the event. He congratulated the organizing committee for making this event possible and acknowledged their contributions to psychiatry as a whole. He appreciated efforts of department  as they have designed flyers on healthy parenting tips, ideal school/teacher, prevention and management of bullying and aggression that was being appreciated by everyone and he specially focused that this contribute in creating awareness in general public.

He said that child psychiatry is relatively neglected field. The scale of the problem is too magnanimous for psychiatrists alone to cater to.  Hence, it is imperative to train non-psychiatric people to bridge the treatment gap, like psychologists, pediatricians, and primary health care professionals.

A panel discussion with very healthy questions and answer session. Different questions were coined from participants among the audience. Issues like child abuse, taking care of your own mental health while treating patients, use of stimulants for ADHD, availability of clinical services, identification of psychiatric problems in children by pediatricians, were all discussed.

Post graduate trainees had highlighted about the topics of drug abuse, fear and phobia in children, aggression, role of teacher in child’s life and how school environment can be conducive for development of healthy person, child behavioral and emotional issues etc.   

The Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr Al Fareed Zafar emphasized that child psychiatry services is the need of the day. He announced to start MD in Psychiatry and M.Phil in Behavioral Sciences in Faisalabad Medical University in near future.

He emphasized the importance of understanding the disorders, their ever increasing prevalence, their impact on physical co morbidity, and its impact on mental health of parents and guardians. He assured that positive steps will be taken to enhance the child psychiatric services. Vice Chancellor highlighted that in every clinical unit there must be a counselor/psychologist/mental health professional to address associated psychiatric problems within physical conditions. He nominated Prof. Dr Imtiaz Ahmad Dogar as a focal person to address issues for child psychiatric services in Faisalabad and its vicinity.

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