Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental disorders including those related to mood, behavior, cognition, and perceptions. Psychiatrists differ from psychologists in that they are physicians and have post-graduate training in psychiatry of 4-5 years. Psychiatric care for children is also provided by psychiatric nurse practitioners.
Psychiatrists typically spend less time (other than the initial appointment) than a therapist, and do not focus as much on talk therapy but more on the physical or chemical treatment of the brain. They provide services in mental health agencies, hospitals and clinics, and private practices. Due to a shortage of psychiatrists, appointments may not be available for weeks if not months. However, access to psychiatrists is available sooner if you are a patient of one of the mental health agencies or Children’s Health Homes. Click here to see Special Programs
We have not included organizations that do only psychiatric assessments and referrals to psychiatrists since most mental health providers perform these activities. Psychiatrists who do not take Medicaid or Medicare are not included in these resources unless they provide a unique service not otherwise offered in the area.
Child & Youth – Special Programs are specifically designed psychiatric care for children and youth. They provide a wide range of services, including psychiatry, and offer intensive early intervention and treatment. They include Children’s Health Home, Children’s Single Point of Entry (SPOA), and First Episode Psychosis (FEP) is especially effective for young people with early symptoms of psychosis.
First Episode Psychosis (FEP)
The onset of serious mental illness often occurs in the period of adolescence to young adulthood. It can be difficult to diagnose with certainty, but the most current research seems to indicate if treated early, with proper medical support and appropriate medications, the long-term damage from the illness may be lessened. The following programs offer intensive early intervention and treatment during and through the period of adolescence and young adulthood.
Early onset intervention and treatment for adolescents and young adults (16-30 years of age) experiencing symptoms and changes like: withdrawal from friends and family; strange or unusual thoughts or behaviors; fear or suspicion of others; or begun hearing or seeing things others do not. Provides care and support services, including medication if needed, academic and vocational support and assistance to meet individual’s chosen life goals in school, work and relationships for up to two years.
Early intervention for individuals (generally age 14-30) experiencing First Episode Psychosis symptoms for at least one week, up to one year. May include these or other types of symptoms: delusions, thought broadcasting (or mind-control), and/ or hallucinations. Treatment team includes Individual Residency Trainer, Family Education Clinician, a Supported Employment and Educational Specialist, and Psychiatrist. Same-week appointments. Care is planned in collaboration with other ECMC programs such as CPEP, inpatient psychiatry, the Partial Hospitalization Program, and substance abuse services.
WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center
Buffalo Outpatient Clinic
575 Alberta Dr., Ste. 2
Amherst, NY 14226