Emergency Psychiatry Service | Overview

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Located within the Department of Psychiatry, the Emergency Psychiatry Service at Boston Children's Hospital provides specialized psychiatric services to children, teens and their families who visit Boston Children's emergency room in crisis.

Our goals are to stabilize our patients, promote healthy coping strategies and direct children and their families to the most appropriate follow-up care.

We provide:

  • psychiatric evaluations
  • crisis intervention
  • treatment
  • resource referrals 

Is your child having an emergency?

If your child is at immediate risk for self-harm or is a danger to others, always call 911 immediately.

If your child has MassHealth insurance, you can also call the crisis team for an evaluation 24/7 by calling (800) 981-4357. They can help direct you to the crisis team in your community, who can come to your home to perform the psychiatric evaluation.

In the emergency room:

If your child is transported to the emergency room, they will first be evaluated medically for any medical issues that may look like a psychiatric condition. They are then referred to a psychiatric clinician, who will perform an evaluation and make recommendations for treatment. Treatment can include crisis intervention in the ER, inpatient hospitalization, or referral to outpatient services.




Delivering psychiatric care in the ED: Keeping adolescents in crisis out of limbo

Vector Emergency Psychiatry Service

Carried out in the ED by a trained psychiatric clinician, FBCI (Family Based Crisis Intervention) aims to help the family learn how to talk to and support their teenager during a crisis, while reinforcing for teens that they can count on their parents so that they feel safe going home.

Read more.

In the spotlight

Screenshot of How-to guide to Boston Children's mental health services in Massachusetts

Boston Children's has teamed up with the Boston Bar Assoc. (BBA) to create this guide. Our aim is to help families access services and allow them to better understand how they can advocate for their children with mental health care needs.



We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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