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Mood & Anxiety Disorders

Our primary mandate is to provide provincial specialized consultation for children and youth ages 6-18 with complex symptoms suggestive of a mood and / or anxiety disorder, who have not responded to community treatment resources.
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Who we treat

Mood and / or anxiety disorders can include major depressive disorder, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. 

In some limited cases, we also provide consultation for children and youth with less complex concerns, in order to meet our multiple mandates of teaching, research, and program development. 

Access to the clinic is by physician referral only and requires the following:

  • Ongoing care and support by a health care provider in the community including at discharge
  • Parent / caregiver involvement

A recent physical exam is recommended.

Services we offer

  • Consultation
  • Assessment
  • Diagnosis
  • Limited treatment
  • Education / Family Support

The interdisciplinary team is comprised of physicians, social workers, and psychologists. Involvement of these professionals is determined by the clinic. Patients cannot be referred directly for assessment from / by these disciplines. Our assessment and consultation process requires the active participation of the child and their entire family.


Research into the causation and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders is an integral aspect of the clinic activities. Research on outcome of group treatment, pharmacological studies, and other new research projects have been integrated into the clinic. All research is done with informed consent and protocols have been reviewed by the University of British Columbia and Hospital Ethics Committees.

Learn more about our research at Child & Family Research Institute.


Student placements and training opportunities are provided to students at all levels and from multiple disciplines including: social work, nursing, psychology, medicine and psychiatry.



During treatment

All the family members living with the child are requested to attend the first appointment. During this appointment the entire family is usually seen at some point, and the child is also interviewed separately. Referral information and questionnaires are reviewed and clarified with the child and family. 

The initial appointment may range in length from 1-1/2 to 2 hours. In some cases, 2 or 3 appointments may be required to complete the basic assessment.

When the assessment is complete, the clinician will discuss the findings with the child or adolescent and family. Generally, this will include a diagnosis and a specific plan for further assessment, or recommendations for further treatment and intervention, with suggestions for where this might take place. A report will be prepared and sent to the appropriate people.


When a child / youth has been accepted to the waiting list, questionnaires regarding developmental and family history and symptom checklists are sent to the parents / caregivers to complete. We also will send a questionnaire to you to be completed by the teacher.

For adolescents, we need the same information, plus the adolescent needs to complete a self-report.

A request is also made to the parents / caregivers to bring all relevant previous assessment reports to the first visit.

After assessment

After our assessment and consultation is complete, children / youth and families who require long-term intervention are directed to resources in the community.

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SOURCE: Mood & Anxiety Disorders ( )
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