The Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
History of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NIMHANS
The Child Guidance Clinic at NIMHANS started in 1957. Organized services in the area of Mental Retardation (The Mental Retardation Clinic) started in 1968. The two services were amalgamated and subsumed under the Child and Adolescent Services in 1987. Separate inpatient services were established in 1967. At present there are two inpatient facilities – the Child Psychiatry Centre (CPC) and the Adolescent Psychiatry Centre (APC). The Child psychiatry Centre caters to children less than the age of 16 years and is a 40-bedded facility. The Adolescent Psychiatry Centre is a 24-bedded facility and caters to adolescents between the ages of 16-18 years. The services have been functioning with the able support of a multi-disciplinary team since 1975. At present, the core team consists of 5 Consultant Psychiatrists (Prof. Satish Chandra Girimaji, Prof. Shekhar P Seshadri, Prof. K. John Vijay Sagar, Dr. Preeti Jacob, Dr. Rajendra K M, Dr. Eesha Sharma and Dr. Sreyoshi Ghosh), 4 Consultant Clinical Psychologists (Prof. Uma Hirisave, Dr B.N. Roopesh, Dr. Thomas Kishore and Dr Nithya Poornima Santosh) and 2 Psychiatric Social Work Consultants (Dr. Kavita Jangam and Dr. Bino Thomas). The service has liaison with other departments including Neurology, Neurosurgery, Speech Pathology & Audiology, Rehabilitation, and Human Genetics.
Establishment of a separate Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
In order to start new courses, especially a DM in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and for enhanced growth, a proposal to start an independent department was approved in 2010. A separate Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry started functioning from 31st Dec 2010. Prof. Shoba Srinath, was the first Head of Department. Prof. Satish Girimaji was the next Head of Department and finished his 3-year tenure in April 2016. Professor Shoba Sinath retired as a Senior Professor in the Department on the 30th of June 2017. Prof. Shekhar P Seshadri is the current Head of the Department. The Department maintains high-quality services at the inpatient and outpatient sections. The Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry runs two super-specialty courses in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry namely the Post-Doctoral Fellowship (1 year) and the DM (3 years). The Post-Doctoral Fellowship course started in 2008 and the DM was started in 2011.
A new inpatient facility for older adolescents
In order to specifically cater to older adolescents (16-18 years of age), a new in-patient service was inaugurated in 2016, and has been running at full capacity since the opening. This age group is also being seen under Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the outpatient and emergency services. We believe that this is a special population that needs intensive work