What We Do

Providing quality care to children, youth and families

The Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is located at the IWK Health Centre. This division provides clinical services in addition to research activities and education of trainees. 

IWK Psychiatry offers the following clinical services serving children and adolescents up to 19 years of age:

  • IWK Acute Care Psychiatric Inpatient Unit (Garron Centre): The provincial 14-bed inpatient unit for children and youth with serious mental health and addictions issues requiring acute inpatient psychiatric care.
  • IWK Emergency Mental Health and Addictions (EMHAS):  Provides 24 hour emergency service for youth in need of mental health and addictions crisis intervention and psychiatry emergency consultation for NS youth.
  • IWK Consultation/Liaison Service: This service provides psychiatric consultations for children and youth being treated as inpatients on the medical and surgical units at the IWK Health Centre.
  • Adolescent Intensive Services (AIS): AIS is a day and provincial inpatient program for youth aged 13-19 with mental health and/or substance use disorders.  There are 10 primary mental health disorder beds (24/5) and 10 primary addiction/concurrent disorders beds (24/7) on two separate units.
  • Children's Intensive Services (CIS): CIS is a day and provincial inpatient program providing intensive mental health services to children aged 5-12 years with complex psychotic presentations.
  • Youth Forensic Services (includes Nova Scotia Youth Facility Secure Care Unit): The IWK Secure Care Unite (SCU) in Waterville is a three-bed inpatient youth forensic psychiatry unit.  Youth may be hospitalized for a ordered mental health assessment or require inpatient psychiatric level of care while at the Nova Scotia Youth Centre (NSYC).  SCU also serves as an inpatient rehabilitation unit for treatment of youth with mental illness deemed not criminally responsible (NCR) by a court of law.
  • IWK Psychiatry Collaborative Consultation Clinic (PCCC) for Community Physicians and Pediatricians: Physicians can request psychiatry consultations or one-time assessments from an IWK child and adolescent psychiatrist.  The psychiatry consultation service is for physicians who will continue to care for the referred patient's mental health/addictions needs, but who need the advice of a psychiatrist to do so.  Consultations to physicians can be provided by phone.  Patients can also be referred for a one time visit to focus on diagnostic clarification or pharmacological advice.
  • Community Mental Health and Addictions Clinics:  Clinicians at the community mental health clinics provide direct care to youth and their families in the HRM community.  Multi-disciplinary teams provide mental health and addictions treatment to a diverse patient population who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health and addictions difficulties.  Services offered include individual and group psychotherapy and psychiatry consultation and vary depending on the issues or illness the youth/family want help with.
  • Reproductive Mental Health Service: The Reproductive Mental Health Service (RMHS) is an interdisciplinary team of clinicians who work collaboratively to provide specialized outpatient mental health services to women (over the age of 18) who are pregnant/postpartum and are currently experiencing moderate to severe psychiatric symptoms with significant impairment related to perinatal issues.
  • Specific Care Clinics:  Specialized psychiatry clinics providing assessment and treatment for patients and families with moderate to severe illness from across the Maritimes:

       Eating Disorder
        Bipolar Disorder
        Concurrent Disorders
        Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
        Early Psychosis
        Autism Spectrum Disorder
        IWK Transhealth Team
        Tourette's / Movement Disorders
        0-5 Years