Challenges in treating a child with mental illness

Harvard Professor and Psychiatrist Kenneth Duckworth, MD, shares advice for parents on the challenges in treating a child with mental illness and ways to help them overcome those challenges
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Challenges in treating a child with mental illness

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There's a great many challenges. One is that it takes a lot of work and there's usually a school involved, a family involved, a pediatrician involved. And one of the challenges we have as a field is how to attract enough people to become child psychiatrists or how to use them well. Access to good child psychiatrists is often challenging because of the level of work that it takes. And the market for us which some child psychiatrists choose not to participate in any kinds of insurance plans. So I would say that's one very noteworthy challenge. One beautiful thing about being a child psychiatrist is most kids really want to get better and they have a natural health drive inside of them. And if you can help a child get back on their developmental track, you can get some very good outcomes. So I would say there are unique challenges to child and adolescent psychiatry and unique benefits as well.

Harvard Professor and Psychiatrist Kenneth Duckworth, MD, shares advice for parents on the challenges in treating a child with mental illness and ways to help them overcome those challenges

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Kenneth Duckworth, MD

Psychiatrist, Harvard Professor & Medical Director for NAMI

Ken Duckworth, MD, serves as the medical director for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He is triple board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult, Child and Adolescent, and Forensic Psychiatry and has extensive experience in the public health arena.

Dr. Duckworth is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard University Medical School, and has served as a board member of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. Dr. Duckworth has held clinical and leadership positions in community mental health, school psychiatry and now also works as Associate Medical Director for Behavioral Health at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Prior to joining NAMI in 2003, Dr. Duckworth served as Acting Commissioner of Mental Health and the Medical Director for Department of Mental Health of Massachusetts, as a psychiatrist on a Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) team, and Medical Director of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

Dr. Duckworth attended the University of Michigan where he graduated with honors and Temple University School of Medicine where he was named to the medical honor society, AOA. While at Temple, he won awards for his work in psychiatry and neurology. He also has a family member living with mental illness.

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