Almost Psychiatry: The Impact of Teaching Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies to Undergraduate College Students
OBJECTIVE: The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies (CAMS) program is housed in a Liberal Arts undergraduate college of a large research university. Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and social workers at the university's medical center teach the courses. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the extent to which CAMS encourages graduates of the program to pursue a career in child and adolescent mental health (CAMH). METHODS: In 2015-2016, graduates of the CAMS program were invited to participate in a mixed methods study. In addition to statistical analyses, qualitative thematic analyses were performed to interpret free-text responses. RESULTS: Forty-five percent (314/702) of invited graduates completed the online survey. Interviews were conducted with 11% (34/314) of participants by study staff over the phone. Quantitative results suggested that 81% (149/185) of participants enrolled in educational programs after graduation due to an interest in CAMH. A significantly higher proportion of the total sample (t = 3.661, p < .001) reported that they changed their career goals while undergraduate students compared to those who did so after graduation. Results of qualitative interviews with 34 participants uncovered five key themes unique to CAMS that may explain the program's influence on graduates' career choices and career development: practitioners-as-instructors, instructor mentorship, novel course content, experiential learning opportunities, and career training and skills. CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative and qualitative results indicated that teaching college undergraduate students about CAMH encourages them to set career goals within the field. These findings suggest the utility of implementing similar programs at other undergraduate colleges.
Insomnia: the Sleeping Giant of Pediatric Public Health
Insomnia among children and adolescents is ubiquitous and takes a great toll on youth and their families, impacting academic achievement, mood, social functioning, and a variety of developmental outcomes. Unfortunately, however, pediatric insomnia most often remains unidentified and untreated. When treatment is provided, it is most often in the form of medications, which are not FDA approved for that indication in children and adolescents. A comprehensive literature review was employed to establish the recommendations in this report. This article provides a review of sleep physiology and both current and recommended approaches to assessing and treating pediatric insomnia. Comprehensive assessment, accurate diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment of insomnia is imperative to the healthy development of children and adolescents. While clinicians often prescribe a variety of medications to treat pediatric insomnia, there is insufficient data to demonstrate efficacy and endorse their routine use. At this time, behavioral techniques, such as cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia and sleep hygiene education, should remain the first line of treatment. As a second-line consideration, melatonin, a dietary supplement, may be effective. Pediatric insomnia has an enormous impact on children, adolescents, and their families that requires adequate attention from clinicians and parents alike.