Identifying and diagnosing mental health conditions in children and adolescents is one of the toughest jobs in health care. Sometimes emotional and behavioral symptoms overlap with other conditions. Changed or disruptive behavior could signal a disorder — or a typical developmental stage. Younger children may not have the words to express their thoughts or feelings. Teens may not want to communicate at all. All too often, schools, courts, community health care providers, and other agencies may not have the resources to provide a comprehensive evaluation.
The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division of the Department of Psychiatry at Stony Brook University has built an international reputation based on meeting these needs for children and teens. We provide expert assessment of childhood and adolescent mental illness — in many cases, second opinions — to patients from as far away as California and South America.
Stony Brook also provides the full spectrum of psychiatric and behavioral services — inpatient treatment, outpatient care, medical and behavioral management, and school programs — to address the wide range of mental health conditions occurring in children today.
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Stony Brook Children's Services
12N - Stony Brook University Hospital
Stony Brook, New York 11794
For physicians seeking information on admissions, call (631) 444-1251
Outpatient Diagnostic Clinic
Stony Brook Children's Services
South Campus-Putnam Hall
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday
For appointments or information on clinical services and research, call (631) 632-8850
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Gabrielle A. Carlson, MD
Judith Crowell, MD, Division Chief and Fellowship Training Director
Michele Kelly, NPP
Jennifer Keluskar, PhD
David Makowski, PhD
Paul Mitrani, MD, PhD, Director of Outpatient Services and Consultation-Liaison to Pediatrics
David Margulies, MD, Director of School Consultations
Zoya Popivker, DO
Deborah Weisbrot, MD
Ilana Yel, DO
Other key members of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry faculty team include:
Darla Broberg, PhD, Clinical Director 12N
Angela Denton, LCSW, Social Worker 12N
Deborah Gerard, PhD, Autism Consultant
Michael Greenberg, LCSW, Social Worker
Kathy Grzymala, Administrative Director and Training Program Coordinator
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Stony Brook's renowned Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division provides four major clinical services: inpatient care at the only academic medical institution on Long Island to provide inpatient child psychiatry services; outpatient evaluation and treatment of children with psychiatric disorders; consultation to Stony Brook Children's Hospital for children on the pediatric units; and consultation liaison with schools through Eastern and Western Suffolk BOCES programs.
Inpatient Care. For children ages 5 through 12 with serious psychiatric disorders, we can provide 24-hour inpatient services in our 10-bed, locked unit. Children receive a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, medications and other appropriate therapeutic interventions, which may include behavior management programs and therapeutic recreation along with educational services through the BOCES program. A core component of treatment is parent training to reinforce inpatient treatment, better manage the child, and give parents a new set of coping skills. The inpatient team includes a psychiatrist, psychologist, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nursing assistants.
Unique to Long Island, the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) program provides school services while the child is hospitalized. BOCES teachers help students maintain and develop their educational potential during hospitalization, create a routine, and develop new coping skills. The program is available to both regular and special education students. The BOCES team works closely with the school to assess the child's performance and ease the transition back to school.
Outpatient Services. Our mission is to provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based clinical care to children and adolescents who are suffering from psychiatric illness. Through an understanding of the multiple biological, psychological, and social factors related to a child's problems, we deliver comprehensive psychiatric evaluations and innovative treatment plans to help alleviate their symptoms. We offer pharmacologic evaluation and ongoing medication management, as well as individual therapy, based on the needs of our patients and their families. We are also dedicated to developing additional therapeutic services for patients and families, including group therapy and parent management training. We strive to work in collaboration with families to best understand the problems they face and to utilize their inherent strengths to improve their lives.
Our experienced child and adolescent psychiatry faculty (Paul Mitrani, MD, PhD, Director) are nationally renowned and have expertise in a wide range of disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, learning disorders, and behavioral disorders. We are expanding our outpatient services for children and teens with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. Led by Drs. Crowell and Popivker, we will have coordinated psychiatry, psychology, social work, and school consultation services for children with these problems.
A routine evaluation begins with obtaining standardized ratings from parent and teacher, copies of past evaluations and hospital records if relevant, and an interview with the parent/caretaker and child.
Consultation Liaison to Pediatrics. This provides high quality, thorough and timely psychiatric consultations to pediatric patients throughout Stony Brook Children's Hospital. Led by Dr. Paul Mitrani, the consultation service provides evaluation and assistance with the management of psychological conditions and psychiatric disorders occurring in medically ill children throughout the hospital. These include complex medical/psychiatric diagnoses, stress reactions to medical conditions, self-injurious behaviors or suicidal attempt and ideation, acute decompensation from prior psychiatric or psychological status, procedural anxiety, depression and chronic pain. Assessment consists of talking to the families and children about medical and psychological/psychiatric conditions, as well as collaborating with the pediatric team involved in their care.
School Program. Dr. David Margulies, Director, and Dr. Deborah Weisbrot are embedded in three Western Suffolk BOCES schools that serve students from kindergarten through high school with serious psychiatric conditions. This program provides a unique consultation and liaison service between school staff and community services for these children with chronic problems.
In addition, the school program provides in-depth evaluations in the outpatient clinic through the BOCES system. These assessments typically provide second opinions for school districts that seek detailed reports to help the child obtain appropriate school services. They sometimes are needed to advise in legal matters. And always, these evaluations and assessment help educate parents, guardians, and the child on the presence, nature and treatment of their condition.
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Members of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division are actively involved in educating families and the community about psychiatric disorders and their management. We have worked with Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), Special Education Parents and Teachers Association (SEPTA), and other support and advocacy groups.
In addition, members of the Division, led by Dr. Carlson, connect with community therapists, educators, and families by organizing educational programs on child and adolescent psychiatry topics such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, learning disorders and aggression, and many other areas.
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Research and Education
As part of an academic medical institution, Stony Brook's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division is devoted to the education and training of future child and adolescent mental health providers and the advancement of research in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry.
The Division maintains an accredited two-year psychiatric fellowship with two fellows in each year. Our faculty also teaches residents and medical students from the Stony Brook School of Medicine.
Dr. Gabrielle Carlson is an internationally recognized researcher in bipolar disorder. She has also been involved in several longitudinal studies based at Stony Brook University. Two projects with Dr. Evelyn Bromet are follow-up studies of late teens and adults who had a first episode of psychosis, and of children and families exposed to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. She is also a collaborator with Daniel Klein, PhD, in the Department of Psychology, following a community sample of preschool children to examine the effects of temperament in predicting future depressive disorder.
Dr. Judith Crowell is the principal investigator of a longitudinal study that investigates the role of family factors and acute and chronic trauma and stress on the development of metabolic syndrome (precursors to adult onset diabetes and heart disease). She has studied attachment relationships, both parent-child and adult partnerships, and is interested in the role of close relationships as buffers against trauma and the development of subsequent health problems.
Dr. Deborah Weisbrot has been involved with the Lourie Center for Pediatric MS as their psychiatric consultant. In addition to in-depth clinical evaluations, there are ongoing studies of psychiatric aspects of pediatric multiple sclerosis. As an outgrowth of this research, Dr. Weisbrot has published one of the first papers describing psychiatric aspects of demyelinating disorders in children and adolescents. She is a long-standing member of the Physically Ill Child Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and co-editor of a book titled Neurologic Differential Diagnosis: A Case-Based Approach (2014).
Two clinical studies will open for recruitment in fall of 2015. The first involves comparison of social skills groups for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), directed by Matthew Lerner, PhD, our close colleague in Psychology. The second, led by Dr. Crowell, will compare children with respect to emotion dysregulation problems, including serious tantrums and panic.
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Advances and Recognitions
Members of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry staff have been recipients of numerous awards and recognitions over the years, including:
Dr. Gabrielle Carlson and Dr. Deborah Weisbrot have been cited multiple times on Castle Connelly's list of "New York's Best Doctors."
Dr. Richard Mattison recently won the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's Berman Award for outstanding research on children with learning disabilities.
Dr. Carlson recently won a research award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for her work on bipolar disorder in children and adolescents, and a clinical recognition award from the New York Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is the program director for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
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