Grand River Hospital says it is cutting outpatient child and teen psychiatry outpatient hours due to the "unexpected departure" of four psychiatrists in recent months.

The hospital will now only be providing outpatient psychiatric care to "very sick children," said Judy Shearer, the associate vice president for mental health and addiction at the hospital.

There will be no changes to inpatient services, the young adult program and preschool diagnostic services, the hospital said Wednesday.

The hospital says it will work with family physicians, community agencies, counselling services and other support groups to provide services to other children and to address longer wait times.

The hospital had six psychiatrists on staff last year. Since then three of them had left for a variety of personal reasons, said Shearer.

One more psychiatrist will leave next month, leaving only two psychiatrists on staff.

Shearer declined to offer any more details, other than to say there were personal issues at play.

"A large part of our strategy will be to recruit more psychiatrists," said Dr. John Heintzman, chief of psychiatry at Grand River Hospital in a release. 

"We will be working with our human resources team to advertise through professional journals and cast a wide recruitment net to get back on track within 12 to 18 months."