Medicating children for mood and behaviour: get advice at our Facebook Live

3 mins read

Thursday 9 March 2023

Tags: facebook q&a, facebook live, medication

Children who are autistic or have a learning disability are more likely to be given psychiatric medication to regulate their behaviour or mood, but parent carers often worry about whether this is right for their child — and reliable advice can be hard to come by.

If you feel unsure about medicating your child or have questions about these psychiatric drugs, we invite you to join a special Facebook Live on 15 March with Dr Mark Lovell, psychiatry lead at Durham and Tees Valley CAMHS.

Dr Mark, who has a special interest in autism and intellectual disability, will be answering questions from parent carers between 10–11:15am on Wednesday 15 March during a live interview with Contact’s health lead Amanda Elliot.

Who is this Facebook Live for?

All parent carers are welcome to join. But the session will be particularly helpful if:

  • You are considering medication to help regulate your child’s moods or behaviours.
  • Your child’s doctor has suggested psychiatric medication to help your child but you feel worried and unsure.
  • You child is already on psychiatric medication, and you want to understand the drugs better.

What will the session cover?

Making decisions about medicating children can be difficult. Parent carers often worry about side effects or safety — and whether they will even work. 

But it’s rare to find clear and accessible information about common psychiatric drugs aimed at parents. And it can be hard to know what to ask doctors, especially if you’re dealing with regular crises at home and school.

To help parents, Dr Mark will discuss:

  • Types of psychiatric medication available for children and young people.
  • When it’s not appropriate to prescribe psychiatric drugs to children.
  • What psychiatrists should consider before offering medication to children.
  • Best-practice guidelines and programmes to prevent the overmedication of children.
  • ‘Off licence’ prescribing and what it means.
  • Where to find accessible information on psychiatric medications.
  • How children are monitored when taking psychiatric medication.
  • Different formulations available – pills, liquid, etc. 
  • Consent and mental capacity.

Please note that Dr Mark is unable to offer individual treatment advice during this session.

Can’t make it on 15 March?

If you can’t join us on Wednesday, don’t worry: the session will be recorded and available to watch on Contact’s YouTube channel.

For more information about psychiatric services or mental health concerns, visit our CAMHS webpage or take a look at our advice on challenging behaviour.