Programs and Services

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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.

Learn more about our programs and services below. 

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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
  • treats children and teens with eating disorders and suicidal ideation, among many other conditions
  • 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 Behavioral Medicine Clinic:

  • 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
  • offers evaluation, treatment, education and support for patients and their caregivers

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, which may include:
    • crisis intervention in the Emergency Department
    • inpatient psychiatric admission at Children’s
    • inpatient psychiatric admission at another hospital or treatment facility
    • outpatient services at Children’s
    • outpatient services at another hospital or treatment facility

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

Our Psychopharmacology Clinic:

  • evaluates psychiatric patients, ages 4 to 18, to determine whether behavioral medications may be beneficial components of their overall mental health treatment
  • incorporates and evaluates medication regimens in conjunction with psychotherapy
  • prescribes—and helps patients and families manage—medications for conditions including:

Our Psychosocial Treatment Clinic:

Specialized programs

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

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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 outof school—the highest rate of any disability group?

  • suicide is the third leading cause of deathfor 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. Learn how you can get involved.

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If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

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Contact the Department of Psychiatry

  • 1-617-355-6680
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
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