Department of Psychiatry Overview

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Contact the Department of Psychiatry

  • 1-617-355-6680

Working together to help children and families achieve healthy development

For more than 60 years, we have tended to the mental health care of children, adolescents and their families by caring for patients and advocating on their behalf.

Our experienced psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and nurses understand the wide-reaching impact of a behavioral disorder, emotional problem or psychiatric disease, and we will give your child and family all of the tools you need to manage your unique situation. Depending on your family’s needs, we’ll see your child individually or with your family, in or outside of the hospital setting. 

We’re known around the world for our strengths in patient care and scientific research, and we also take pride in our public advocacy. We are dedicated to erasing the stigma of mental illness by educating families, raising community awareness and increasing access to critical support services.

Our mission

In partnership with others in our community, the Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry will provide excellence and leadership in clinical care, education, research and mental health advocacy for children and their families.

Our expertise

When a child is faced with a behavioral disorder, emotional problem or psychiatric disease, the impact is far-reaching—affecting everything from the child’s home, school and social life to the emotional wellness of the entire family.  If your child has a mental health issue requiring professional intervention, we are here to help.

We provide care in many settings, from our inpatient units and clinician’s offices to schools and community health centers. Our treatments include individual, group and family counseling, psychotherapy and—when appropriate—the use of medication in conjunction with behavioral therapy.


Each year, the Boston Children’s Department of Psychiatry performs approximately:

  • 14,000 outpatient visits
  • 2,000 community visits
  • 1,000 emergency visits
  • 1,000 medical consultations
  • 400 inpatient admissions

Among the many conditions we treat are:

We are among the only pediatric hospitals to provide intensive mental health support for children and families confronting chronic health conditions such as:


Join Boston Children's in fighting for mental health reform


Did you know that:

  • mental health care needs in children are more prevalent than leukemia, diabetes and AIDS combined?

  • of the 140,000 young people who need treatment for a mental illness each year, 100,000 are unable to access care?

  • half of students living with a mental illness drop out of school—the highest rate of any disability group?

  • suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24 … but of those who commit suicide, 90 percent have a diagnosable and treatable mental illness at the time of their death?

Boston Children’s is working with other health care providers, nonprofit organizations, educators and families statewide to advocate for a comprehensive reform of the Massachusetts mental health system for kids and families.


Discover: Psychiatry


Boston Children’s takes multifaceted approach in support of childhood mental health

The passage of 2008’s landmark Act Relative to Children’s Mental Health was a significant step forward in addressing the unmet needs of an estimated 100,000 children who do not receive the mental health care they need. There’s still a lot of work to do, including improving the coordination of care between mental health professionals and families, teachers, pediatric providers and other adults who regularly interact with at-risk children.

Battling anger with a video game

Advances in neurobiology and computer science have made it possible for Boston Children's clinicians to design special interventions that strengthen children's ability to control emotions.

Joseph Gonzalez-Heydrich, MD, working with Boston Children's social worker Peter Ducharme, LICSW, and programmer Jason Kahn, PhD, has developed a computer game called RAGE-Control (Regulate and Gain Emotional Control).


  • Join the Psychiatry Family Advisory Council
  • 617-919-4624
  • or email us today!
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944