Important to know

Choosing the right specialist

Psychiatrist and paediatric psychiatrist

A psychiatrist is a specialist doctor who can apply his or her knowledge and experience to assess a person’s mental health status and prescribe either pharmacological treatment or referral to a psychologist. A paediatric psychiatrist is a psychiatrist with specialised expertise in the differentiation and recognition of mental disorders and developmental features specific to children.

Medication and psychotherapy are often used in combination, and so-called ‘combination therapy’ is common. In less severe cases, and often in children, psychotherapy alone or even psychological counselling is sufficient. It is up to the doctor to decide which form of treatment is most effective.

Psychologist, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist

A psychologist is a professional who has received higher education in the field of psychology, but has not necessarily undergone training in therapy. A psychologist provides psychological counselling. Separately, there is also a higher qualification of clinical psychologist, which provides a psychologist with more in-depth training in the treatment and prevention of mental and behavioural disorders, with more in-depth training in dealing with more complex cases. The experience gained in this field has been gained mostly from working with hospital patients.

The psychotherapist has undergone extensive training in psychotherapy under one of the relevant therapeutic schools (e.g. family therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, etc.), which uses recognised and scientifically based therapeutic techniques specific to the field.

It is necessary to distinguish between psychological counselling and therapy, the former dealing with more day-to-day issues, while therapy deals with more complex and long-term emotional and behavioural problems. In a typical counselling session, a short-term life problem is addressed by finding quick and workable solutions, helping the person to become aware of and develop his or her own coping skills.

A single professional may hold several qualifications at the same time, for example, being both a clinical psychologist and a psychotherapist.

Mental health nurse

A mental health nurse is a nurse with a master’s degree in nursing specialising in the assessment of a person’s mental health status and associated health risks. She is able to independently map the main mental health problems of the person in need and advise on a plan of action. He/she collects data on the individual’s life history, symptom history and performs initial screening tests (depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, memory and cognitive functions, substance use), all of which are important to assess the mental health status of the individual, in order to better assess the mental health status of the person.

He will also give advice on how to help oneself with anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and other mental health problems affecting daily life and coping. Feel free to contact a mental health nurse if you or a loved one is worried about anxiety, worrying, loss of joy and interest, changes in energy levels and mood,

difficulty concentrating, eating and appetite problems, sleep disturbance, stress disturbance, vague pains, reality disturbance, life-affirming thoughts, self-destructive behaviours, including substance abuse, or any other symptom affecting mental health.

It is also often helpful to seek the advice of a mental health nurse if you suspect a family member of having a mental illness, especially a partner, elderly person or adolescent who tends to refuse help initially. The mental health nurse can then help family members with advice on how to deal with the situation and support coping with the stress of the situation, which often falls on the rest of the family.

In addition, the work of the mental health nurse involves monitoring the health of patients already receiving psychiatric care (taking blood pressure, weighing, analyses) and providing support during treatment.

The mental health nurse is always assisted by a doctor who supervises the treatment process.