About the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
NYU Langone Health’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry brings together highly specialized clinicians, researchers, and educators who are committed to addressing the urgent and unmet mental health needs of children, families, and communities.
As one of only two independent child and adolescent psychiatry departments at a top-ranked academic medical center in the United States, we are changing the way we think about and treat child mental health and developmental disorders. We are also advancing translation of the latest insights into the causes, courses, and treatment of these conditions.
Under the leadership of Jennifer Havens, MD, interim department chair; Francisco X. Castellanos, MD, interim vice chair for research; and Jess P. Shatkin, MD, MPH, vice chair for education, our department’s mission is to define future innovations in mental health, care integration, inclusive education, and community collaboration. Our goal is to improve the lives of children with mental health needs and those who care for them.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Strategic Priorities
We drive innovation through collaboration with other NYU Langone departments, centers, and institutes to improve how we conduct research, train clinicians, and treat children with mental health conditions and related issues. Our work focuses on several key strategic priority areas.
Digital Technology and Innovation
We use digital technology to benefit children with mental health issues. Every parent wants to see their child thrive. Yet, many parents, teachers, and even doctors lack clear answers to common questions, like when to worry about a child’s emotions and behaviors.
To address these needs, we created the WonderLab, a digital health initiative that brings together experts in mental health, digital technology, and data science to give parents clear answers in the moments they need it most. By harnessing the power of data and technology, we are expanding our understanding of mental health in children across the globe to personalize support for every child.
Our digital platform, called When to Wonder, is a mobile health platform that offers groundbreaking and life-changing tools. We hope that these engaging smartphone apps help children, families, doctors, and researchers to better identify temper tantrums, anxiety, sleep problems, hyperactivity, and other common early childhood social–emotional developmental and behavioral issues. The first of these projects is our Picky Eating app.
Early Childhood Mental Health and Developmental Neuroscience
Our researchers continue to prove that lifelong physical and mental health starts before birth and is shaped throughout childhood. We translate research into new approaches to mental healthcare that improve early identification of childhood health issues and offer effective actions.
Our faculty are uncovering the biological, environmental, and social factors that shape emotions and behavior and are developing evidence-based approaches to treat children prenatally, in infancy, and throughout life.
We study fetal brain development and child brain and behavior outcomes, the developmental epidemiology of preschool mental health, and maternal and early childhood trauma. Other areas of interest include domestic violence and its impact on parents and young children, as well as early childhood mental health in immigrant and native Chinese populations.
As we expand and integrate clinical care across specialties, our goals are to better understand the development and mental health of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families, and to create an integrated system of mental healthcare at NYU Langone and NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue that serves as a model for other healthcare systems. Our work includes integrating early childhood mental health into primary care and consulting with preschools and daycare centers.
Our clinicians and researchers have access to our Developmental Neuroscience Core, which provides child-friendly neuroimaging services, eye tracking, fetal–maternal physiological monitoring, electroencephalography (EEG), mock MRI scanning, and software for acquisition, analysis, and real-time data processing.
In collaboration with researchers at NYU Langone’s Neuroscience Institute and the Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, we conduct translational research projects that focus on autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring conditions. A translational pilot study on cannabinoid intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder is currently underway.
We are pioneering the use of telepsychiatry—live, interactive videoconferencing sessions—to expand our reach within and beyond New York City to increase access to mental healthcare and to improve the timeliness and continuity of treatment for children and families.
In partnership with NYU Langone’s Medical Center Information Technology (MCIT), we are leading the development of telemedicine best practices, shaping telemedicine policies, promoting high-quality care, and establishing telemedicine training modules for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education.
Because we connect healthcare providers across disciplines, who take different approaches and practice at various locations, we are able to deliver wide-ranging and life-changing care—where and how families need it most.
At the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone, we provide telepsychiatry services to two school-based clinics and have plans to expand these services to additional schools. We also provide telepsychiatry services to inpatient psychiatric units and outpatient clinics for the New York State Office of Mental Health and the Children’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program at Bellevue.
We continue to partner with national professional organizations to address legal and regulatory challenges to telepsychiatry and to inform policy as the field continues to expand.
Integrated Pediatric Mental Health Services
We are improving how mental health services are integrated into pediatric healthcare to address current gaps in prevention, risk identification, early intervention, and service delivery.
Our pediatric mental health providers collaborate across the institution, at locations that include the Child Study Center and Fink Children’s Ambulatory Care Center, both part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone; NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital; NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn; and Bellevue, to advance treatments for this vulnerable population.
Our collaborative care working group is developing a roadmap for important cross-departmental and cross-institutional efforts to improve access to mental healthcare. One milestone is the development of a depression care pathway to train clinicians how to best care for children with depression across different healthcare sites.
This involves universal depression and suicide screening tools, workflows for risk identification, evidence-based suicide risk assessment, psychotherapy, medication algorithms, and models for providing depression follow-up care.
A ‘One Department’ Culture
Several core values—engagement, collaboration, and inclusion—drive our “one department” culture, in which all team members share common principles and work across strategic priority areas, disciplines, and locations. Our goal is for our education, research, and clinical efforts to inform each other.
To promote communication among faculty, staff, and trainees, we have established an ambassador council to represent the interests and concerns of different constituencies and to promote bilateral communication between leadership and the department. Our department diversity ambassador develops proactive approaches to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, improve inclusion, and lead educational initiatives.
As a department focused on mental health, we also recognize the importance of promoting and supporting the wellbeing of our faculty, staff, and trainees. Through open forums and platforms, we bring our colleagues into the conversation and host regular meetings on wellness topics to provide guidance, support, and opportunities for all members to meet their personal health goals.
For more information about the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-754-5000. Our office is located at One Park Avenue on the seventh floor.