Psychiatry

Our mission is to provide services to children and their families from a perspective of excellence and leadership in mental health, and to promote a culture of excellence, innovation, and continuing education. 

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Who we are

The Department of Psychiatry at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) has existed for more than 60 years. It was the first psychiatry department in Canada to provide services for adolescents, and many leading child psychiatrists in both Canada and the United States were trained there. Special emphasis was placed on caring for marginalized and underprivileged children and families. The department gradually became part of McGill University’s Department of Psychiatry, eventually becoming the Division of Child Psychiatry, which comprises the child psychiatry departments at the CIUSSS Centre-Ouest (Jewish General Hospital) and the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île (Douglas Mental Health University Institute), and at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MUHC-MCH).

Our mission 

Our mission is to provide services to children and their families from a perspective of excellence and leadership in mental health, and to promote a culture of excellence, innovation, and continuing education. 

Our team

The team of dedicated professionals in the Pediatric Psychiatry Care Program is made up of nurse clinicians, psychiatrists, counsellors, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, special education technicians, and teachers who, together, have extensive experience working with children and adolescents with mental health issues.

Department head: Dr. Lila Amirali, M.D., M.Mgmt. (IMHL), FRCPC, FAPA, Interim Director

Manager: Michèle Paquette, R.N., M.A., couples and family therapist, psychotherapist

Staff psychiatrists:

 

Programs and services

Inpatient Unit B7 South

At the Montreal Children’s Hospital, we have eight acute care beds and fifteen day hospital spots, including spots for patients presenting with an eating disorder following a hospitalization in Adolescent Medicine, where indicated.

We offer specialized services for the general public and we often receive consultation requests from across Quebec, including the James Bay and Hudson Bay territories, as well as other Canadian provinces.

We work in multidisciplinary teams comprised of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, teachers, occupational therapists, special education technicians, psychotherapists, and nurses to assess and treat children and adolescents, while always taking their family situation and dynamics into account. We work with partners in the community to improve access to acute care services and to improve the lives of young people with serious mental health problems who need to be hospitalized.

Treatment plans include a combination of individual psychotherapy, behaviour management, family therapy or counselling, intervention and liaison with the school, and pharmacological treatment, if necessary. Individualized treatment plans focus on the safety of each patient during the hospital stay and are determined in close conjunction with the families and external resources.

Consultation-liaison service

The consultation-liaison service assesses and treats childhood and adolescent mental illnesses associated with medical conditions, as well as psychosomatic disorders.

The child psychiatrist first performs a psychiatric assessment based on the facts presented by the attending medical team regarding the patient’s complex mental and physical health problems; this service is offered to pediatric inpatients.

Emergency and crisis service:

The Mental Health Emergency Room Team (MHERT) works with a child psychiatrist and a social worker or a nurse between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.

There is a child psychiatrist on duty in the Emergency department seven days a week.

  • Next-day clinic: A child psychiatrist and a social worker are on staff every weekday morning to see patients who are returning for an urgent psychiatric assessment after being deemed safe enough to be sent home after a visit to the Emergency department the previous day;
  • Emergency follow-up: This service is offered to patients who require follow-up after a visit to the Emergency department and who need a referral to community services;
  • Crisis service: This service is offered to patients in a crisis situation who need immediate attention, thus avoiding visits to the Emergency department.

Outpatient clinics for children and adolescents

The outpatient psychiatric clinics treat children and adolescents with severe mental health problems, for whom community programs do not work or are not comprehensive enough.

Our family-centred programs offer diagnostic assessments and specific treatment recommendations for a wide range of conditions that affect the mental, emotional, and social health of children and adolescents.

Referring a patient

If your child is suffering from a mental health problem and needs professional help, here’s what you need to do:

  • If your child or teenager is exhibiting suicidal or homicidal behaviour, bring him/her to the Emergency Department as soon as possible. You can call 911 for guidance.
  • For a family crisis, call 811, which will refer you to the Crise-Ado-Famille-Enfance (CAFE) program.
  • You can visit the website of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux for a list of mental health resources available in your region: http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/en/reseau/reorganisation/portrait

Who can make a consultation request:

  • If a particular situation has you concerned but does not present an immediate danger, the first step would be to consult your family physician or pediatrician, or a healthcare professional at a hospital or clinic in your neighbourhood.

We will be sent a consultation request for child psychiatry and will call you for an appointment. Cases will be triaged. The wait time can vary depending on the urgency of the case and the waiting list.

  • CLSCs, schools, and psychologists can send consultation requests to our various departments.
  • If you have the consultation request handy, you can call us at 514-412‑4400, ext. 24449 and we’ll make sure you’re referred to the right place. 

 


 

Your appointment

·      The first appointment is crucial and often requires the whole family to be present.

  • You will be sent a confirmation of the appointment. Carefully read the information provided (place and time of appointment).
  • Bring your and your child’s health insurance cards.
  • Bring all of your child’s psychiatric and psychological assessment reports. 
Contact us

Telephone: 514‑412‑4400, ext. 24449

Fax: 514‑412‑4232

 

Helpful resources

Suicide prevention

  • If your child or teenager is exhibiting suicidal or homicidal behaviour, bring him/her to the Emergency Department as soon as possible. You can call 911 for guidance.

There are several help lines that children can call if they need to talk to someone:

  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868; free online consultation 24/7, site for children and adolescents
  • Suicide Action Montréal: 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277‑3553)

For adolescents

http://teenmentalhealth.org/: A website (in English only) for teens completely dedicated to mental health, featuring tools, videos, and useful apps. 

Refer a patient 

Room: A03.3138.1, Glen site

Phone : 514-412-4449
Fax : 514‑412‑4232