Childhood Mental Health Disorders

Child Psychiatry

We study and treat childhood mental health disorders. We treat patients requiring special expertise and who have disorders or difficulties related to psychological development, controlling of behaviour and emotions or the strain on the family.

Diseases studied and treated at Tays include the following, for example:

  • severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • pervasive developmental disorder, such as childhood autism or Asperger's syndrome
  • mixed specific developmental disorder or a combination of these disorders
  • affectivity or behavioural disorder or their combination
  • severe post-traumatic stress disorder
  • a family situation that strains the child's development
  • difficult symptoms in affectivity, behavioural, interactional or physiological control disorders
  • depression, anxiety disorder, self-destructive symptoms
  • behavioural disorders, smearing
  • eating disorders
  • psychotic symptoms.

In addition, we assist the police in exploring suspicions of crimes towards children.

Tests and treatment at Tays

Municipalities are mainly responsible for the treatment of mild mental health disorders. Moderate mental health disorders are treated in municipalities or at Tays depending on the municipality. Treatment of severe mental health disorders is allocated to Tays.

A physician's referral is always needed for studies and procedures at Tays.

Child psychiatric test

We usually begin testing by interviewing the parents, which can be done in an online service or over the phone.

We evaluate the child's and the family's situation during family meetings, and in individual meetings with the child when necessary. When necessary, a psychologist may carry out tests for the child.

When diagnosing children's neuropsychiatric disorders, the testing includes a computer-based interview for the parents regarding the child's neuropsychiatric symptoms. We also carry out an observation study for children, especially in the case of disorders of the autistic spectrum.

Depending on the situation, we arrange family visits and observe the interaction between the child and parents.

Child psychiatric treatment

We treat patients at the outpatient clinic or in the ward. Ward treatment may also be arranged in the form of family ward or day ward care.

Ward treatment is necessary when the child needs intensive treatment and needs to learn to control symptoms that are challenging to him or her or the environment, or when outpatient clinic visits are not sufficient to alleviate the child's and the family's situation.

Ward treatment may be necessary, for example, in situations where the parents or custodians feel that they cannot cope with the child's symptoms or if the child is in danger of harming himself or herself or others or when the child's ability to function is not sufficient to cope in every-day life and environment.

Urgent child psychiatric treatment

Urgent and emergency treatment are initiated by a physician's referral. Emergency treatment may be needed if the child is in immediate danger due to self-destructive or psychotic symptoms, for example. In such cases, the child and the family are primarily referred to Tays First Aid Unit Acuta.

When a child has been received by an urgent referral, we contact the family within 1–3 days from receipt of the referral.

Special expertise at Tays

We are active in the field of scientific research. Our international research activities focus on studying the development of small children's emotional life and parenthood. We conduct international studies related to paediatric medical treatment and the quality of child psychiatric treatment. In addition, we have an ongoing research project in which staff are trained to conduct a new kind of short treatment intervention for children and families who have experienced trauma.

Our core expertise is in the interaction between a child and parents. We have developed a unique treatment model for the treatment of interaction between the child and parents and parenthood which is not available anywhere else. Furthermore, we have developed treatment models for the treatment of eating and anxiety disorders and depression.

We also provide group treatments for parents that improve parenthood skills, as well as group interventions for children for improving control of emotional life and behaviour.

Persons in charge

Head of Department, Chief Psychiatrist Kaija Puura
Deputy Chief Psychiatrist Ilona Luoma
Nursing Director Mika Virtanen