Message from the Director

The Division of Child Psychiatry is engaged in contributing to the social service infrastructure of the St. Louis region, is committed to being the child psychiatric branch of a leading research university, and to developing comprehensive models of care to support vulnerable children and families at risk for serious impairments of mental health.

The scientists of our research faculty are leading the discovery of the earliest origins of psychiatric disorders of childhood, exploring how biological and environmental factors beginning as early as infancy shape risk for adverse life outcomes, including major mood disorders, autism and schizophrenia, substance abuse and criminality.  This work has already led to new approaches to early diagnosis and the offsetting of risk through preventive intervention and early treatment.

Our clinical programs, which are anchored at the world-renown St. Louis Children’s Hospital and within the broader BJC Health System, strive for the delivery of the highest-quality clinical care for children who can most benefit from the mental health interventions that we and our collaborators in the community provide.

Many of our current efforts to bring new innovations to clinical child psychiatric care are focused in the areas of traumatic stress, infant mental health, personalized approaches to the care of children with inherited neuropsychiatric conditions and intergenerational psychiatric care, as well as collaborative efforts with primary care physicians to extend the reach of child mental health professionals, for whom there exist severe shortages nationally and internationally.  To that end, the Division has, for decades, dedicated itself to the training of new practitioners in child psychiatry—our current education program encompasses ten full time child psychiatry fellows, and training opportunities for residents in pediatrics and general psychiatry, trainees in allied health professions and social work, medical students, and undergraduates.

We envision a community that responds to the mental health needs of its youngest citizens by bringing scientific advances in clinical care and prevention to all those for whom intervention is of proven benefit.  We are committed to close working relationships with partners in our community who comprise a network of mental health service and support to the children and families of greater St. Louis, and to the development of models of care that can be disseminated far and wide to benefit children everywhere.

Welcome to the Washington University Division of Child Psychiatry!

John N. Constantino, MD
Blanche F. Ittleson Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics
Director, Division of Child Psychiatry