India has a considerable skilled manpower deficit in the area of child and adolescent mental health, given its population and their needs. To address this deficit, in the recent past, various centres in India have begun specialty training in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry with the lead being taken by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore. This is a welcome step in the right direction. However, specialty training of this nature cannot exist in a vacuum. There is a need for a comprehensive and cohesive child and adolescent mental health policy which must include adopting certain standards in training in the various sub-specialties of child and adolescent mental health. From this national policy, provisions must be made for a spectrum of care from specialized tertiary care to high-quality community-based care. Dedicated, skilled mental health professionals who will impart training at the highest level as well help train a cadre of specialists (psychiatrists, pediatricians) and non-specialists with various degrees of exposure and training in the field of child and adolescent mental health are the need of the hour to have a stepped model of care. This will go a long way in ensuring effective and equitable distribution of the sparse human resources. Similar issues may operate in other low- and middle-income countries and thus the discussion may be relevant to such populations as well.
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We would like to thank the pioneers in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry from India including Dr. Erna Hoch, Dr. Illana Cariappa, Dr. HS Narayan, Dr. PS Gopinath, Dr. NC Surya, Dr. VK Varma, Dr. Roshen Master, Dr. Prabhat Sitholey, Dr. Savita Malhotra, Dr. Usha Naik, Dr. Shoba Srinath, Dr. Satish Girimaji, Dr. Shekhar Seshadri, Dr. Gowri Devi, Dr. Paul Russell and others. The discipline in India owes its presence to their dedication, enthusiasm and passion to the cause of children in this country. We thank Dr. Sandeep Grover, Dr. Gowri Devi (Asha Hospital), Dr. Preeti Kandasamy (JIPMER), Dr. Priya Mammen (CMC) and Dr. Vishal Indla (VIMHANS) for providing details of the CAP training at their institutes. We would also like to thank Professor Shoba Srinath, Professor Satish Girimaji and Professor Shekhar Seshadri for their valuable inputs in the preparation of this manuscript.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
This article is part of the focused issue ‘The European and Global Perspective on Training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’.
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Kommu, J.V.S., Jacob, P. Specialty training in child and adolescent psychiatry in India. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 29, 89–93 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-019-01407-4