New facility in Kyalami treats children with mental health disorders

The mental health counsellor described the new house as a wonderful base with a touch of magic.

Renowned Midrand mental health counsellor Paola Macqueen has found a new home with a magical touch for children in Kyalami, where she is consulting privately, Midrand Reporter reports.

Macqueen is the founder of Viva Youth College, which provides youth mental health treatment and upliftment techniques. She also established the Viva Upliftment/Life Enrichment programme. She specialises in the upliftment of youngsters, teens and young adults who have been diagnosed with neuro-biochemical/behavioural disorders.

READ MORE: What you need to know about childhood schizophrenia

After 16 years in the field, she has decided to open a practice with a beneficial environment for children and young adults suffering from mental disorders. She described the new house as a wonderful base with a touch of magic.

“I decided to get an environment to work with children where they could walk around and feel free. There is a magical chalet and a magical tree filled with beautiful things,” she said.

She said she has come across extreme cases of schizophrenia from children at the early age of 12 and 13 years. “Children at that age tend to experiment with drugs which trigger schizophrenia if genetic. Parents need to be aware of what their children are doing. Once you get it, it cannot go away. It can only be managed.”

She has worked with children diagnosed with disorders ranging from the psychosis of schizophrenia, moods related to bipolar, personality challenges including borderline to reactive attachment problems, which may present themselves by way of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other behavioural issues.

“These complications may cause parental or family relationship rifts, often leading to separation or divorce unless the situation is dealt with calmly and strategically.”

Children are exposed to a calm, friendly environment at Paola MacQueen’s new private practice in Kyalami.

Macqueen said parents and teachers are the key ingredients in identifying when something is wrong with a child. She has advised parents to take their children to specialists like her before they place them in a mental institution.

“Some children learn bad behaviour once they are institutionalised.

“In some cases, you would find a child with a behavioural disorder taking medication which they don’t need. Only psychotic disorders require medication.”

Symptoms of mental disorder to look out for:

  • Lack of focus
  • Child talking to himself
  • Gazing into space
  • Bad hygiene
  • Not reacting fast towards people talking to them or what happens around them.


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