Department of Psychiatry Our Clinical Programs
The Boston Children's Hospital Outpatient Psychiatry Services offer comprehensive assessment and treatment services to children and their families. Using psychoeducational, cognitive, behavioral, dynamic, and psychopharmacologic treatment approaches in individual, family, and group modalities, the outpatient program provides solution-focused care specifically to help patients and their families effectively manage emotional and behavioral problems.
There are five distinct programs subsumed under this service: 1) the Psychopharmacology Clinic, 2) the Neuropsychology Program, 3) the Emergency Psychiatry Service, 4) the Psychosocial Treatment Clinic and 5) the Behavioral Medicine Clinic.
The Psychiatry Consultation Service is one of the nation’s leading and largest psychiatric consultation programs. Staff and trainees provide diagnostic and treatment services to all in-house Children’s Hospital Boston medical and surgical wards, as well as to a variety of medical-surgical subspecialty services.
Working closely with consultation attendings, our residents learn first hand about the critical collaborative interface between pediatrics and psychiatry, while gaining an understanding of systems interventions that are critical to all types of consultative work, as well as a deeper understanding of the illness experiences of children and their families.
Inpatient psychiatry is a cornerstone experience in any training program where residents learn the fundamental diagnostic and therapeutic skills to work with the most severely disturbed and dysregulated patients in an interdisciplinary setting. Children's Psychiatry Inpatient Service is a 16-bed inpatient unit that specializes in caring for children ages 8 to 18 years who struggle with depression, psychosis, anxiety, eating disorders, and other psychiatric illnesses.
This unit also has unique expertise in treating children with serious co-morbid medical illnesses such as brittle asthma and diabetes, which are often vehicles through which emotional and behavioral problems are expressed. Using an integrative focal treatment planning model, our residents learn how to identify in an effective, focused manner the problems that brought about a child’s admission, and the implementation of targeted treatment approaches that allow a child to return to a less restrictive environment for ongoing care.
The Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships (CHNP) is an innovative community mental health program based in area schools, both public and private, and 6 community health centers throughout the Greater Boston area. CHNP concentrates its efforts on those neighborhoods that have a high prevalence of risk factors, such as single parent households, families living in poverty, substandard housing, and health concerns such as low birth weight.
The goal of CHNP is to spark systemic change in the provision of mental health services fourfold: by expanding access to mental health services for underserved children; by providing mental health training for practitioners; by increasing knowledge of mental health disorders and building capacity in community-based partner organizations to prevent and address mental health concerns; and by advocating for policy changes that support the creation of an effective mental health care system.
In CHNP, our residents are exposed to a continuum of services that incorporates the best existing practices in prevention, as well as in the clinical assessment and treatment of children and their families in community settings. Major CHNP program components include on-site mental health consultants in schools, community health centers, and other community organizations; case management services for families in schools that promote connections to community health centers and other community-based resources; special assessments and services for children who have co-morbid medical, emotional, academic and behavioral issues; and larger-scale prevention programming to provide education and support to students, families and staff around concerns such as depression and suicide, bullying, and sexuality.
Our Psychiatry Collaborative Services involve providing co-located mental health services with Adolescent Medicine (including Eating Disorders), the Gender Management Service, Developmental Medicine, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Sports Medicine, the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program, the Optimum Weight for Life Program, the Infant Follow-Up Program, and Primary Care Pediatrics.
Through these programs our residents participate in multidisciplinary specialty clinics in addictions (Adolescent Substance Abuse Program), developmental disabilities (Developmental Medicine Center), and child neurology, as a routine part of their required training. They may also take electives in any of these specialty areas. Finally, our Department partners with the Cambridge Superior Court to provide a comprehensive forensic experience for our trainees in the Family Probate Court Clinic.