CAP teaching

We teach a variety of courses including undergraduate modules for medical students and post-graduate courses for interdisciplinary professionals as well as training for psychiatrists including those specialising in child psychiatry. We also hold seminars, workshops, study days and information events for parents, teachers and others interested in child and adolescent mental health, teach Paediatricians in training, and contribute to national training in primary care postgraduate courses.

We have developed and delivered an extremely successful programme of innovative education and training to psychiatrists, multi-disciplinary professionals, teachers, and parents. Over the years, we have delivered over 50 courses for over 3500 clinicians, 70 parents’ evenings for nearly 7000 parents, courses for 650 teachers at the invitation of the Special Education Support Service of the Department of Education and HST and BST training for the College of Psychiatry of Ireland.


Child Psychiatry in Undergraduate Medicine

Our Department oversees the curriculum and delivers the undergraduate teaching of child and adolescent psychiatry to medical students. We view this aspect of our teaching as a cornerstone of our role. Given the myriad ways in which the mental health and wellbeing of infants, toddlers, children and adolescents are interwoven with many other medical specialities, it is crucial that out future doctors are instilled with a comprehensive understanding of this discipline at an undergraduate level. We also provide teaching to medical students as part of other modules.


Student Summer Research Awards (SSRA)

Academic Lead:  Prof Fiona McNicholas, Prof in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry UCD and Consultant, CHI at Crumlin and Lucena Clinic, SJOG

Administrator:  Niamh Doody 

The Department of Psychiatry is delighted to be taking part in this year’s Summer Student Research Awards (SSRA) as we have done for many years with significant expansion this year. The SSRA programme is an undergraduate research initiative to support and showcase Undergraduate Research affiliated within the UCD School of Medicine. The programme offers a selected group of students the opportunity to gain and make use of extensive research skills through a combination of individual supervision and group-based lectures.  In previous years, group-based teaching had been conducted in the School of Medicine however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic we have had to adapt the delivery of the programme, meaning we have transitioned to Zoom.

This year the Department of Psychiatry have selected 20 students to conduct research in the field of Psychiatry and Mental Health. Topics include, but are not limited to; burnout among clinical and non-clinical staff in child and adolescent mental health services, patient satisfaction with liaison psychiatry services and several systematic reviews on topics such as lithium use in children, deliberate self-harm rates and the management of hyperprolactinaemia in children on neuroleptic medication. As well as the aforementioned, 10 of the 20 studies focus on the various ways COVID-19 has impacted service users and providers, and the number of mental health emergencies related to COVID-19.

In addition to the support afforded to the students through their individual supervisors, the students have had additional research and clinical lectures. Dr Louise Rooney and Caoimhe Fenton have offered the students teaching in statistics and research methods, while Dr Daniel Leahy, Dr Michael O’Brien, Dr John Hayden and Diarmuid Stokes have given the students teaching on systematic reviews. Clinical lectures have been given by Dr Elizabeth Barrett, Dr Kieran Moore, Dr Blánaid Gavin and Dr Sarah Casey. Niamh Doody, Elisha Minihane and Rachael Quirke are also offering individual and group supervision to the students to support them with their research. Prof McNicholas provides introductory sessions, mid-term reviews and final project overview.

So far, the programme has been a great success and students and supervisors alike are getting used to working remotely to carry out their research. The programme is set to run for another 4 weeks and will culminate in each student producing a poster which they will present at the SSRA research night later this year. The expectation is that many students will engage in national / international presentations and contribute to the publication of work. Students have successfully published in previous years.

Others students have been given access to online learning. If you are interested do consider applying next year. 

This year’s applications saw many excellent students apply and unfortunately, we could not match each student with a project. If you would like to be express your interest in contact about the 2021 SSRA programme please email Niamh.doody@ucd.ie


College of Psychiatry of Ireland HST/BST teaching

The group contribute actively to the teaching of trainee psychiatrists (Basic Specialist Training (BST)) and those specialising in child psychiatry (Higher Specialist Training (HST)). Courses delivered cover a full array of topics integral to psychiatry training including teaching about specific childhood and teenage mental health difficulties, treatments and therapeutic approaches as well as providing training on skills such as management and research skills essential to the consultant role. We also contribute to BST and HST training for paediatricians, and contribute to other teaching endeavours nationally such as the RCPI diploma courses.


MSc in Child Art Psychotherapy

This two year, part-time taught masters programme, delivered at Mater Misericordiae University Hospital Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, is for professionals who wish to specialise in using images in a psychotherapeutic context to understand the inner world of the child. Research and clinical experience demonstrates that children and adolescents who find it difficult to communicate their emotional conflicts verbally can be supported and enabled to do so through the use of pictorial language.  


Graduate Research Supervision

Our academic and research staff supervise Masters and PhDs in the area of child and adolescent mental health. Applications are welcome from Irish and international prospective student.

Email: childpsychiatry@ucd.ie

Recent PhD topics include:

2016-2019:The Power balance: A grounded theory study about the experience of clinicians, parents and children regarding ADHD assessment and treatment

2017-2019: The Design, Development and preliminary Evaluation of HOPE in ADHD: a group intervention for teaching homework skills to parents of children with ADHD: HOPE = Home Oriented Parent Education.

2011-2017: Preterm Infant-Parent Attachment -

A study of attachment and social-emotional development of preterm infants


Seminars for Primary and Post-Primary Teachers

Our group has a particular interest in contributing to teachers’ knowledge and understanding of children’s mental health difficulties and mental illness. We aim to support teachers with the challenges that may present through increasing knowledge in addition to enhancing the supports available to children with mental health issues within the education system. We have previously provided very successful Summer Teacher Training Programmes in addition to Staff Training Days run through the Department of Education.


Parent Information Seminars

Our group is committed to supporting parents who are struggling with the array of challenges that parenting a child with emotional and mental health difficulties may present. We run a very successful series of Parent Evenings to ensure parents have access to expertise and knowledge in their efforts to best support their child’s wellbeing and recovery.

We also contribute to many community initiatives, for example as part of the Watersports Inclusion Games and in interdisciplinary work and installations at the Lexicon Library and online with the RCPI Heritage Centre in recent years. We support and are keen to engage with events such as First Fortnight. Team members often work with community groups and expert by experience groups.


Schwartz Rounds

Given increasing interest in paediatric mental health, in recent years a post at CHI at Temple Street has been approved as part of paediatric training. To date, three paediatric trainees have worked for six months in child and adolescent psychiatry. We also contribute to teaching and training initiatives at RCPI. We also believe in supporting compassionate care and awareness of mental health issues across paediatric hospitals.  

In 2017 Dr Barrett was nominated as the Clinical Lead for Schwartz Rounds, leading the development of this initiative across the hospital for all disciplines, professionals and staff. As an accredited Balint Lead, she has led interdisciplinary trainee Balint groups for all medical trainees in all disciplines at CHI at Temple Street for over 2 years. During the COVID-19 period Dr Elizabeth Barrett has served as CHI Staff Wellbeing Committee Vice Chair and has delivered a number of on the ground initiatives to support staff at the frontline, and worked to support colleagues across disciplines in providing support at various levels. This has included online Balint Groups and Team Time initiatives.  She also writes for non-medical audiences about these issues.,

(Barrett, E., & Furman, K. (2019). Why are so many medical staff suffering from Burnout?. https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2019/0408/1041354-why-are-so-many-medical-staff-suffering-from-burnout/)