Challenges of the Swedish association:
- To promote the development of a first line mental health service for children and adolescents.
- To facilitate cooperation between child and adolescent psychiatry and other services (such as maternity and child health care, social service, school health care, juvenile delinquency correction centres as well as paediatrics and adult psychiatry).
- To take part in preventive child mental health programmes.
- To increase the implementation of evidence based methods in child and adolescent psychiatry.
- To increase research activities in child and adolescent psychiatry.
- To recruit more young physicians into child and adolescent psychiatry training.
- To develop clinical guidelines.
Already in 1947 child and adolescent psychiatric wards were opened within adult psychiatry departments. In 1951 Swedish child and adolescent psychiatry was founded as a clinical discipline of its own, independent from general psychiatry and paediatrics. In 1956 the Swedish Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was established.
The number of child and adolescent psychiatric physicians in the Swedish Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is 425 including eighty physicians in specialist training. The average age of the specialists is rather high and in coming years a lot of specialists will retire, which creates a need for an increase of specialist training. There are increasingly fewer male doctors who enter the child and adolescent psychiatric specialist training.
Sweden is divided into six health care regions and there is one responsible director (a specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry) in each region who has a special responsibility to support trainees. At a local level each trainee will have a mentor (senior medical doctor) and a clinical supervisor during the specialist training. There is a mandatory psychotherapy education in the training program since 1986 with basic psychotherapy theories and techniques as well as supervision in psychotherapy. A child and adolescent psychiatry log book is being used during the specialist training.
The training for becoming a specialist includes three and a half years of child and adolescent psychiatry specialization, half a year of paediatrics and one year of adult psychiatry. There is a non mandatory examination for Swedish child and adolescent psychiatrists arranged by the Swedish association, including a clinical case discussion and a written report.
The Swedish association is organizing courses at national and regional level in different clinical areas for trainees who also meet nationwide one to two times yearly for professional development. The Swedish Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is also working with curricula for Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
There are university clinics with professors and associated professors in child and adolescent psychiatry at seven Swedish universities (Lund, Goteborg, Linkoping, Orebro, Uppsala, Stockholm and Umea). Education of medical students in child and adolescent psychiatry and PhD programmes is offered at these Universities.
Read more about the Swedish Association: view or download the article from the ECAP Journal by Gunnel Svedmyr, 2013 (pdf, 3 pages).
Read about the state of academic child and adolescent psychiatry in Sweden: 'The Swedish Patient', article by Sven Bölte, editor in chief of the Scandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology, 2016 (pdf, 2 pages).
Swedish Psychiatry ('Svensk Psykiatri'). A shared journal for the Swedish Association for Adult Psychiatry and the Swedish Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.