Department of Psychiatry Programs and Services

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Contact the Department of Psychiatry

  • 1-617-355-6680

The Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry treats diseases and disorders that affect the mental, emotional and social health of children and adolescents. Our strengths in scientific research and mental health advocacy help us deliver innovative, family-centered care for conditions ranging from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to depression, anxiety disorders and disruptive behavior disorders.

Also, our collaborations with specialists across Children’s allow us to help patients and families who are feeling anxiety, sadness, anger and fear related to other medical conditions like cancer and heart disease.

In each of our specialty programs, a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses and other clinicians works together to develop a treatment plan that focuses on your child as an individual—not merely a patient. Starting with your first visit, you’ll meet compassionate professionals who are committed to delivering the highest standard of care for your child while supporting the needs of your entire family.

Inpatient care

Our Psychiatry Consultation Service:

  • provides customized mental health support and counseling services for patients who have been admitted to Boston Children’s for medical conditions (and, when appropriate, for their families)
  • offers short-term therapy to help children and families cope with the stress of illness, hospitalization and medical procedures
  • works with family members to promote healthy coping skills
  • partners with a child’s medical team to educate patients and parents about the relationship between physical health and emotional well-being

Our Psychiatry Inpatient Service:

  • is a 16-bed inpatient psychiatric unit for children and adolescents, ages 8 to 18
  • provides psychiatric assessment and treatment for patients who have not responded to previous outpatient or hospital-based psychiatric care
  • stabilizes children who are in the midst of a psychiatric crisis
  • teaches children and their families important skills to help with coping and recovery after leaving the hospital 

Outpatient care

Our Outpatient Psychiatry Service:

  • Provides diagnostic assessments and treatment recommendations
  • Provides individual, group and family psychotherapy
  • When appropriate, prescribes—and helps patients and families manage—medications in conjunction with psychotherapy
  • Addresses the emotional and mental health needs of children with chronic physical conditions and their families, helping them deal with stress and anxiety related to medical procedures and hospital stays

Our Emergency Psychiatry Service:

  • provides psychiatric assessments for patients who have come to the Boston Children’s Division of Emergency Medicine (all children receive a medical assessment before undergoing any psychiatric evaluation)
  • works with families to determine the next step in treatment

Our Neuropsychology Program:

  • performs neuropsychological assessments—evaluation of thinking, memory, attention and output abilities—for children with brain and nervous system damage or dysfunction
  • develops a treatment plan that addresses the child’s needs as a whole, including social, familial and educational needs

Community-based care

The Boston Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships Program:

  • partners with urban schools and community health centers in Boston to provide high-quality, culturally competent mental health care for children and families
  • increases access to mental health services in previously underserved areas
  • develops and expands prevention and early intervention programs to help reduce instances of serious mental illness in children and adolescents
  • offers training and professional development initiatives for clinicians and researchers interested in community mental health
  • shapes mental health policy for children and families by informing the public and advocating for enhanced community services
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