How do I choose a mental health expert for my bipolar child?

The best mental health experts for bipolar disorder are those that specifically specialize in the illness. The best way to find such people is Google “mood disorders program," followed by your local region, or contact International Bipolar Foundation at  
To find the right mental health expert for your child with bipolar disorder, ask your child's pediatrician or your family doctor for a recommendation. You will then need to check your health insurance plan. If you have a managed care plan, you should make sure the psychiatrist or other mental health expert is in-network in order to receive coverage. Call your health insurance company and talk with the representative. Ask for a list of in-network providers. You can select the psychiatrist or psychologist from this list. Ask your child's teacher if they know of good mental health experts. Check online (or in your yellow pages) for psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers, particularly those who specialize in treating children with bipolar disorder. 
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Finding a mental health expert for your bipolar child can be a challenge, especially since child psychiatrists these days are almost as rare as a Siberian tiger. Your best bet for finding one is to start by asking your doctor and your child’s doctor for referrals. You can also find the closest teaching hospital to your home and contact their child and adolescent psychiatry department. If that still doesn’t get you what you’re looking for, you can search the online doctor finder of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists website or the CABF Directory of Professional Members. If you still can’t find a child psychiatrist, select a psychiatrist with experience treating mood disorders in adults and children.


Once you’ve identified a mental health professional that you are interested in working with, ask what insurance he/she takes. Ideally, you will want to find one that takes your insurance.


Continue Learning about Bipolar Disorder In Children & Teens

Bipolar Disorder In Children & Teens

Bipolar Disorder In Children & Teens

Because children experience symptoms differently from adults with bipolar disorder, and because children often lack adequate language for how they feel, diagnosis of bipolar can be difficult. Symptoms for children include bouts of ...

severe depression, feelings of hopelessness, poor sleep and changes in eating habits. Depression tends to become more common during and after puberty, particularly among girls. Your child’s doctor will use a diagnostic assessment, exam and thorough medical history to help in diagnosis. If you think your child may have bipolar disorder, make an appointment with your family doctor to talk about the symptoms you notice.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.