Tips for talking to mental health professionals

Harvard Professor and Psychiatrist Kenneth Duckworth, MD, shares advice for parents on talking to mental health professionals after getting a comprehensive evaluation for your child
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Tips for talking to mental health professionals

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After you've gotten a comprehensive evaluation for your child and you are working with a professional or a mental health professional, get a good idea of what they think their work is and how it relates to the master plan or treatment plan for your child. Do they see a treatment plan for the capacity of the family? Do they see themselves working individually with the child? Do they consider themselves a specialist in a treatment area, like cognitive behavioral therapy, that the child needs? It's important for you to know who the players are and what they do. As far as understanding how the system works, many people have the words system in quotation marks because it feels more like fragmented and uncoordinated at times. I encourage parents to talk to other parents who have been there, through child advocacy groups or the National Alliance on Mental Health. Other parents have asked questions and have probably done a lot of the homework to get to where you want to go.

Harvard Professor and Psychiatrist Kenneth Duckworth, MD, shares advice for parents on talking to mental health professionals after getting a comprehensive evaluation for your child

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Kenneth Duckworth, MD

Psychiatrist, Harvard Professor & Medical Director for NAMI

Ken Duckworth, MD, serves as the medical director for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He is triple board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult, Child and Adolescent, and Forensic Psychiatry and has extensive experience in the public health arena.

Dr. Duckworth is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard University Medical School, and has served as a board member of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. Dr. Duckworth has held clinical and leadership positions in community mental health, school psychiatry and now also works as Associate Medical Director for Behavioral Health at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Prior to joining NAMI in 2003, Dr. Duckworth served as Acting Commissioner of Mental Health and the Medical Director for Department of Mental Health of Massachusetts, as a psychiatrist on a Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) team, and Medical Director of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

Dr. Duckworth attended the University of Michigan where he graduated with honors and Temple University School of Medicine where he was named to the medical honor society, AOA. While at Temple, he won awards for his work in psychiatry and neurology. He also has a family member living with mental illness.

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