NOTICE: Due to the current viral pandemic we are not doing face to face office visits. We are doing evaluations through telehealth platforms. These may not be appropriate for your child depending on their age or symptoms but we will start with a parent telehealth interview to see how we will be able to address your concerns about telehealth.
On the day of your appointment you will receive an invitation to a telehealth session/teleconference. Usually this message will come by text. When your appointment time approaches, please use the link in the message to connect your visit. Note that telehealth video and audio requires more bandwidth than a regular phone call or FaceTime. Please make sure you have a very strong WiFi signal or use a hardwired device such as a lap top or desktop computer. These telehealth platforms are very sensitive to privacy so they may disrupt if other apps are open or if you get incoming calls or texts.
If you are now requesting a New Patient appointment, the process will take longer than usual because our resources are currently focused on meeting the needs of our existing patients. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.
STEP 1: Complete New Patient Appointment Request Form. You can download form, complete it and then send as email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or return it by mail, fax, or scan and send as an email attachment to email@example.com.
STEP 2: Someone from the office will call you within a 7-10 days to offer an appointment after we receive your New Patient Appointment Request. We'll review your information, determine doctor availability and check on your insurance coverage so you will know if our services are covered. New patient evaluation appointments are usually scheduled several weeks, possibly even a few months out.
We know the long waits for the initial appointment are frustrating. (The long waits are because there is a shortage of child psychiatrists and we're working hard to provide the best care possible for our current patients.) If you have flexibility, please let the office staff know and they will place you on a 'cancellation list' so that we can call you in for an appointment even if it's at the last minute.
STEP 3: Complete the New Patient Registration Form and Social History Form.
Please print these forms and bring to the office at your first appointment. It will save you time. If you don't have them for your first appointment you'll need to come to the office early to complete forms.
What to Expect
Seeing a psychiatrist or mental health professional for the first time can be an anxiety inducing event. In order to reduce some of the fear, we would like to go over what you can expect to happen. The first visits are usually thought of as the assessment or evaluation phase. The focus of these early visits is for us to get to know you and your child, to understand the problems you are concerned about, and to develop an assessment that can be used to design a treatment plan. Like we tell the children, this will be a lot of talking about a lot of different things, but there will be no exams, tests, or shots at this point.
In most cases, depending on the age of the child, we will want to talk with the family together, the child or teenager alone, and the parents alone. We may ask to review any previous evaluations, medical or school records your child may have. The specific type of treatment suggested for your child will be based on an understanding of his or her problems. Basically treatment can be divided into two types of therapy: psychotherapy (talk therapy) or medication therapy (pharmacotherapy). These types may be prescribed separately or together in combination.