Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre of Excellence

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre of Excellence at Al Jalila Children’s is the first of its kind in the region. Our highly specialised multidisciplinary centre is dedicated to providing comprehensive assessment and management of a wide variety of mental health issues in children and adolescents, in addition to providing support to their families. The Mental Health Centre of Excellence spearheads and supports advanced inter-departmental research, training, and teaching for future mental health professionals from different backgrounds.

Through its highly skilled and experienced professionals, it offers specialised evidence based assessment, diagnoses, management, and treatment of a spectrum of mental disorders for children and adolescents between the ages of 0-18 years. The Centre also aims to set the benchmark for research and education in the region with the objective of pushing the boundaries of mental health treatments and intervention procedures, leading the way to better public awareness and knowledge of how to deal with mental illness in children and teenagers.

The Centre provides a variety of services that include:

Inpatient
The mental health inpatient service is a 10-bedded unit that provides multi-disciplinary, intensive mental health assessment and treatment for children and adolescents who are experiencing emotional and behavioral difficulties and are unable to be managed in at home. This will include children and young people who pose a risk to themselves or others, school refusal, crisis intervention and continual assessment. The facility aims to provide an evidence-based service that is child, young person and family centered.

Difficulties may include but are not limited to:

  • Psychosis
  • Eating Disorders
  • Mood Disorders such as Depression and Bi-Polar Affective Disorder
  • Developmental Disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
  • Disorder (ADHD), Tic Disorders
  • Anxiety and Emotional Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
  • Self-Harm
  • Suicidality
  • Psychosomatic Disorders
  • Attachment and Emotional Regulation Disorders

Services Provided:

  • Comprehensive bio-psychosocial assessment
  • 24 hour nursing observation and assessment
  • 24 hour patient care
  • Crisis management
  • Appropriate physical investigations
  • Psycho-education
  • Psychopharmacological interventions
  • Psychometric assessments

Psychological therapies including but not limited to:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Interventions
  • Therapeutic Groups
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Learning support
  • Referral to other services within the hospital or other centers in UAE, as appropriate.
  • Liaison with schools and other relevant external organizations

Child Life Centre

A service that provides patient and family centred support during the hospital visit, from pre admission, during procedures, after surgery, inpatient and follow up outpatient services. The Child Life Centre has a dedicated team of interdisciplinary professionals, certified Child Life Specialists, Play Therapists, Art Therapists, and Recreational Therapists. The Centre facilitates medical play for individuals and groups, to enable patients to become familiar with the hospital environment and provide the opportunity for role reversal to reduce fear and anxiety related to hospitalization and the procedures.

Services Provided:

Mental Health Consultation and Liaison Service

A liaison service that provides consultation and ongoing support to other departments and patients within the hospital. The Mental Health team offer support to patients and their families that are experiencing mental health difficulties, for example anxiety, whilst they are admitted into hospital for medical reasons. Similarly, the team also support to patients with a primary or secondary diagnosis of a mental health condition who are admitted into the hospital for medical reasons.

Services Provided:

  • Inter-department mental health consultation
  • Psychological support to patients and their families
  • One to one mental health nursing support where necessary

Day Programme

The Day Programme provides intensive assessment and therapeutic interventions for children and adolescents aged 7 to 17 years who experience significant emotional, mental and/or behavioural difficulties that cannot be adequately treated by outpatient services alone and as a possible diversion to an inpatient admission. This would be considered the least restrictive care. The goal of this service is to minimize the potential of inpatient admission for such patients. In addition, the programme will also serve as an intervention for inpatients to provide intensive support and ease transition back into the community.

Services Provided:

  • Mental health assessment and intervention
  • Effective, individual care planning and interventions
  • Group Therapy
  • Therapeutic Groups
  • Recreational Groups
  • Parent / Family Support

Outpatient Mental Health Department

The mental health outpatient service offers assessment and management of a wide range of developmental, emotional and behavioural disorders of childhood and adolescence, including but not limited to:

  • Psychosis
  • Mood Disorders such as Depression and/or Bipolar Affective Disorder
  • Self-Harm and Suicidality
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
  • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD)
  • Disruptive Behavioral Disorders (Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder)
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Psychosomatic Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Tic Disorders
  • Stuttering and Selective Mutism
  • Stress responses to abnormal situations at school or home such as bullying or abuse
  • Psychosocial and familial stressors including but not limited to familial separation, reunification,
    divorce and transitions
  • Identity, self and developmental transitions
  • Parent-child attachment and support

Services Provided: 

  • Assessment and diagnosis including Psychiatric, Psychological, Behavioural, Speech and Language
  • Ongoing assessment and review of patients
  • Psychoeducation
  • Psycho-Metric Testing
  • Medication Management
  • Talking Therapies

What makes us different?

  • As a dedicated Centre within a paediatric hospital, the Mental Health Centre of Excellence caters to the mental health needs of children with chronic physical health conditions while being treated at Al Jalila Children’s.
  • The Centre acts as a leader in setting guidelines for issues facing the community when dealing with children and adolescents with mental health needs.
  • The Centre differentiates itself through its unique child-friendly approach – from the tools and equipment to the overall environment – in addition to its ability to cater to adolescent mental health through the integration and collaboration with the patients’ families, departments of the hospital and various educational and medical agencies within the UAE.
  • The Centre is also a credible and transparent point of reference for families that are looking for a decisive and solid answer for their child’s illness.
  • The team promotes and implements interdisciplinary and inter-professional activities and services that were not previously available in the region.
  • We also provide a first of its kind intensive multi-disciplinary day-programme mental health services.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic

A multidisciplinary team that aims to provide comprehensive clinical assessment and diagnosis to children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families.

Disorders

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Social Communication Disorders

Services Provided

  • Comprehensive Multidisciplinary assessment and diagnosis of children with suspected Social Communication Disorders

Eating Disorder Service

The Eating Disorder Service at Al Jalila Children’s provides highly specialized comprehensive, multi-disciplinary team assessment, diagnosis and evidence based interventions for children and young people who are suffering from disordered eating and distorted body image. The service also, specializes in treating individuals with Eating Disorders who also present with Co-morbid mental health problems, complex challenging behavior and self-harm. Care and support are provided in a highly structured approach and welcoming environment. Our aim is to support recovery towards a successful discharge to the community setting and resuming functional abilities. Referrals for assessment and treatment are accepted from internal or external sources.

Within the context of clinical care, there are ongoing research projects to investigate the condition further.

Eating Disorder Service Inclusion:

  • Up to 18 years
  • The suspected diagnosis of:
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Avoidance/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

Eating Disorder Service Exclusion Criteria:

  • ›› 98th centile, equivalent to BMI >30 in adults
  • Other forms of feeding disorders such as: physical illness, psychogenic disturbance of appetite, or problems with eating that can be developed by children such as pica, rumination disorders, and food phobias

Services provided:

  • Comprehensive Assessment and treatment delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of Psychiatrist, Registered Mental Health Nurse, Clinical Psychologist, Adolescent Medicine and Dieticians
  • Formulation and diagnosis with the latest evidence based interventions
  • Provision of care in an outpatient, inpatient and day program setting as per individual case clinical needs
  • Psychological and family therapy intervention
  • Liaison work with education and other agencies
  • Monitoring and evaluating progress to ensure a holistic view of recovery for mental and physical health using Eating Disorders Specific Outcomes measures

General Mental Health Clinic

A service that offers initial and ongoing assessment and management of Children & Adolescents presenting with mental health difficulties.

Mental Health difficulties seen:

  • Psychosis
  • Mood Disorders such as Depression and/or Bipolar Affective Disorder
  • Self-Harm and Suicidal Behavior
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
  • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD)
  • Disruptive Behavioral Disorders (Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder)
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Psychosomatic Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Tic Disorders
  • Stuttering and Selective Mutism
  • Stress responses to abnormal situations at school or home such as bullying or abuse
  • Psychosocial and familial stressors including but not limited to familial separation, reunification, divorce and transitions
  • Identity, self and developmental transitions
  • Parent-child attachment and support

Services Provided:

  • Initial screening & triaging of Children & Adolescents presenting with mental health disorders, followed by appropriate referral to specialized services or to community resources.
  • Short-term acute stabilization until assessed by other teams.
  • Psychometric testing
  • Follow-up and monitoring of patients following initial assessment
  • Medication management

Team

Dr. Ammar Albanna

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Hanan Derby

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Meshal Sultan

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Tarig Diab

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

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      Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital

Al Jaddaf - Dubai United Arab Emirates
800 AJCH (8002524)
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