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Mental Health: How Can I Advocate For My Child At The Doctor’s Office? - Dr. Shannon

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Dr. Shannon explains how you can advocate for your child’s mental health and discusses his inspiration for helping children and families work through mental health issues.

Dr. Shannon:
I think it’s very useful if a mom has a set of values about what she feels is important in treatment.

She may say, “I would prefer a natural approach to treating my child or I’d like to minimize the use of medications in my child, or I’d like to find as many possible effective tools to help my child and not limit it to a narrow approach.”

I think it’s really useful to understand that when you are in a doctor’s office you are hiring them to help you and you are in charge. You make the decisions.

And if you are feeling like you are not being validated, listened to, acknowledged or really understood in a deep way, then it’s okay to ask questions to disagree and to fire your current provider if you can’t reach resolution.

And don’t feel locked in with a current provider because there are many different providers out there. And particularly in the mental health field we see a huge range of personalities and styles and there’s going to be a style that fits for you and your beliefs and your values.

So if you are finding like you are not being heard, you are not liking the treatment approach or you are feeling it’s ineffective for some reason, then realize that you can take charge and make changes.

Well when I see the love that a mother has for a child, that is profoundly inspiring and I also realize that mothers are the experts on their children.

I can come in as a consultant but I am not the expert on a child’s life. The mother knows their child so much better than me.

And so what I try to do is offer parents tools to help them unlock this knowledge and use it very effectively to help their child thrive, blossom and reach their full potential.

About Dr. Scott Shannon, M.D.:
Dr. Scott Shannon, M.D., graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Following a psychiatric internship he worked for four years in rural Arizona as a general practitioner. Dr. Shannon then completed a psychiatric residency at a Columbia program in New York. After his child psychiatry fellowship at the University of New Mexico he moved to Colorado. His practice includes a wide variety of approaches including herbs, supplements, medications, nutrition, and acupuncture. Dr. Shannon served as the Principle Investigator on a recent research grant exploring the value of acupuncture in the nausea of chemotherapy.

Visit Dr. Shannon at his Web site