Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Child Psychiatry Specialist

Advanced Psychiatric Associates

Tina Okonkwo, DNP, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC

Psychiatric Mental Health Care for Children, Adolescents and Adults located in Charlotte, NC

Children are just as vulnerable to mental health problems as adults and require expert diagnosis and treatment. If you have concerns about your child's mental well-being, child psychiatry expert Justina Okonkwo, DNP, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, of Advanced Psychiatric Associates can help. At the practice in Charlotte North Carolina, Justina and her team provide in-person and virtual holistic health care, encompassing the mind, emotions, mood, and body. For comprehensive and compassionate child psychiatry services, call Advanced Psychiatric Associates or book an appointment online today.

Child Psychiatry Q & A

What is child psychiatry?

Child psychiatry is a medical specialty that focuses on the mental health conditions affecting children and their psychological well-being.

Mental health issues are just as significant a problem for children and adolescents as adults. All ages suffer from similar disorders, although some conditions are more common in children, and the symptoms they experience may differ.

It can be hard for parents to realize their child is having mental health problems or to hear that they require psychiatric treatment. 

However, if you can learn to identify the warning signs, then your child could benefit significantly from the child psychiatry services available at Advanced Psychiatric Associates.

What symptoms of children's psychiatric disorders should I look for?

Symptoms that indicate your child might be struggling with a psychiatric problem include:

  • Deep sadness that persists for at least two weeks
  • Avoiding social situations and friends
  • Self-harm
  • Extreme irritability and loss of temper
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Drastic personality or mood changes
  • Weight or appetite changes
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Deteriorating grades
  • Loss of interest in activities they normally enjoy

Spotting the signs of mental health problems in adolescents and teens can be particularly challenging as they're going through the upheaval of puberty. The changes in hormones that occur at this time often trigger behavioral changes and other signs of mental health problems.

What conditions does child psychiatry treat?

The child psychiatry professionals at Advanced Psychiatric Associates treat a wide range of mental health and developmental disorders in children of all ages. Conditions they treat most often include:

  • Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia nervosa
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

In older teens, schizophrenia can also be a problem.

What treatments are used in child psychiatry?

Treatment options that could help your child include:

Talking therapies

Various types of talking therapies are used in child psychiatry. Psychotherapy involves a child talking to a member of the mental health team at Advanced Psychiatric Associates to explore their thoughts and feelings and look for underlying causes of their problems.

Children and adolescents benefit from sharing their feelings and learning why they feel the way they do. They can also learn coping skills and new behaviors using approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).


In some cases, medication may be necessary to reduce the severity of your child's symptoms. Stimulants, for example, can be helpful in treating ADHD.

If you have concerns about your child's mental health, talk to the child psychiatry professionals at Advanced Psychiatric Associates. Call their office today or book an appointment online.