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How can I schedule an initial psychiatry appointment for my child as an outpatient?

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You can make an initial outpatient appointment for your child by calling 617-355-6680. Please be sure you have the following information on hand at the time of your call:

  • your child’s full name, address and date of birth

  • your (or, if you are not the child’s parent/legal guardian, the official guardian’s) full name, address, phone number and relationship to the child

  • your insurance provider’s name(for example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts), the name of the specific behavioral health plan covering the child (for example, Managed Care Behavioral Health—your behavioral health plan may have a different name than your primary medical coverage plan, so please be sure to carefully check the back of your card for any references to “Behavioral Health” or “Mental Health”), and your subscriber ID number

  • the name, address, and phone number of your child’s primary care physician

  • the name, address and phone number of your child’s referring physician (if different from the primary care provider)

  • a basic summary of your child’s psychiatric symptoms and medical history, including any prior hospitalizations

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What should I tell my child before his or her psychiatry appointment?

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Your child’s age and individual circumstances may determine which information (and the amount of information) you choose to share before the initial psychiatry appointment. Guidelines for a beneficial conversation might include:

  • explaining that the doctor you will be meeting is going to help find the best treatment so your child can feel better

  • letting your child know that it’s ok to talk about feelings (such as anger, sadness and frustration), concerns and fears with the doctor

  • visiting the Children’s web site and taking a “virtual tour” of the hospital with your child

  • reassuring your child that you will be there throughout the appointment

  • encouraging your child to ask any questions that come to mind, both before and during the appointment

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What should I bring to my child’s appointment?

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When you make your initial appointment, a member of the Psychiatry Department staff will go over everything you’ll need on the day of your visit. A checklist of take-along items should include:

  • the name of the doctor you will be seeing

  • the name and floor of the Children’s building you will be visiting

  • the name and telephone number of your referring physician

  • your insurance provider’s name(for example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts), the name of the specific behavioral health plan covering the child (for example, Managed Care Behavioral Health—your behavioral health plan may have a different name than your primary medical coverage plan, so please be sure to carefully check the back of your card for any references to “Behavioral Health” or “Mental Health”)

  • your child’s insurance card(s) and subscriber ID number

  • co-payment for your insurance, if applicable 

  • referrals or authorizations from your child's primary care doctor's office, if applicable

  • all medical or personal records, such as school counselor reports, pertaining to your child’s condition

  • a list of your child's current medications

  • a list of questions you have for the doctor and staff (if appropriate for your child's situation and maturity, you may want to have him or her come up with questions too)

  • your child's and your Social Security numbers (for insurance purposes)

  • any forms mailed to you by the Psychiatry Department

  • books, games, snacks or other necessities

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I received a bill for my child’s psychiatry appointment. Who should I call with questions?

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Please call 617-355-3397 with any billing questions.

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What if I have to reschedule my child’s psychiatry appointment?

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If you need to reschedule an appointment, please call the main Psychiatry Department number at 617-355-6680. (Please give at least 24 hours’ advance notice whenever possible.)

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My child’s illness can be overwhelming for me sometimes. Does Children’s offer a service that can help me find the information and additional support I may need?

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Our Center for Families is dedicated to helping families find the information and resources they need to better understand their child’s medical condition and take part in their care. All patients, families and professionals are welcome to use the Center’s services at no extra cost. It’s open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please call 617-355-6279 for more information.

I think my child is having a psychiatric crisis requiring immediate care. What should I do?

If you feel your child is at immediate risk of self-harm or of harming others, call 911 right away. If your child is not at immediate risk of harming anyone, but is still in urgent need of a psychiatric intervention, please call 617-355-6369 and ask for the psychiatric clinician on call.

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For your convenience: Places to visit at Boston Children's

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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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