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Putting Children First: Two Stand-Out Programs at Columbia Psychiatry

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week, May 4-10, 2014
April 30, 2014


Contact:         Dacia Morris

                        (646) 774-8724



 Putting Children First:  Two Stand-Out Programs at Columbia Psychiatry; National Children’s Mental Health Week, May 4–10, 2014


NEW YORK, NY (April 30, 2014) – Children and their families who live with the daily challenges associated with anxiety and mood disorders have access to two unique programs at Columbia Psychiatry. The experts at  the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD) and Columbia University Pediatric Anxiety and Mood Research Clinic (CU-PAMRC) use personalized, evidence-based treatment in their work with families and children as young as three years old. Their goal is to keep children and adolescents on track developmentally so they make the appropriate progress in school, stay connected to their peers, and prepare for successful independence as they transition to adulthood. 


Program Descriptions

Dr. Moira Rynn, a renowned child psychiatrist and director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, leads CU-PAMRC, a research specialty clinic located at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. CU-PAMRC provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment services to children, adolescents, and young adults with anxiety and mood disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, bipolar disorder, and school refusal. CU-PAMRC is also home to the Children’s Day Unit, an intensive day treatment program that provides services for the psychiatric and educational needs of children and their families participating in CU-PAMRC’s research programs. School services are provided by PS186X, a New York City public school located on the unit during the academic year, from September through June. All assessment and treatment services at CU-PAMRC are free of charge.


Dr. Anne Marie Albano, a nationally recognized child psychologist and co-author of You and Your Anxious Child, leads the outpatient clinic CUCARD. Located in midtown Manhattan, the clinic specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of moderate to severe anxiety, mood, and behavioral disorders across the lifespan, with a particular focus on children, adolescents, and young adults. Besides providing individual therapy, CUCARD offers group therapy, parent skills training, and intensive treatment for problems such as severe anxiety and school refusal. The program is enhancing its services with the Launching Emerging Adults Program (LEAP), which integrates the core components of effective cognitive behavioral treatments for anxiety disorders in adolescents and adults with components designed specifically to address patient-caretaker dependency, role transitions, and the attainment of behaviors necessary for independent adult functioning. 


New Research

Can an antibiotic medication typically used to treat acne help improve symptoms in children and adolescents with OCD without the troubling side effects of other OCD medications? Dr. Rynn is conducting a study of a novel treatment approach to childhood OCD, a disorder frequently associated with significant impairment in a child’s functioning at home, school, and with peers. The study compares minocycline with a pill placebo in children ages 8–20 who have been diagnosed with OCD and whose symptoms are not fully relieved by antidepressant medication. The study aims to shed light on minocycline’s potential effectiveness as a second-line treatment strategy when SSRI medications and cognitive behavioral therapy are not fully effective. For children and their families, who must choose between debilitating symptoms and the significant weight gain that is a side effect of atypical antipsychotic medications often used with SSRIs, an alternate treatment would be a welcome relief. Meet one of our OCD specialists and study clinicians here: To learn more about this study, visit the PAMRC website or call 646-774-5793.



For interviews with Dr. Rynn and Dr. Albano, and to learn more about how our programs address children’s mental health, please contact Dacia Morris at 646-774-8724.



Columbia University Department of Psychiatry & NYS Psychiatric Institute

Columbia Psychiatry is ranked among the best departments and psychiatric research facilities in the nation and has contributed greatly to the understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders. It is home to distinguished clinicians and researchers noted for their clinical and research advances in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, suicide, schizophrenia, bipolar and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and childhood psychiatric disorders. Visit for more information.  


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