Emergency Psychiatry Service | Frequently Asked Questions

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What happens to my child in the ER?

Your child will be medically evaluated when he or she comes to the ER. Even if your child's condition seems primarily psychiatric in nature, he or she must be medically evaluated first to rule out any conditions that may be confused with a psychiatric issue.

Once your child has been medically evaluated, he or she will be seen by one of our team members for a psychiatric evaluation. Both you and your child will be interviewed separately. Often, we provide crisis stabilization in the ER.

After your child is evaluated, we will make treatment recommendations and facilitate aftercare that may include inpatient and outpatient care. Aftercare may include care provided at Children's or at another mental health facility.

What about insurance coverage?

Boston Children's is not an authorized psychiatric care site for some insurance companies. Please check ahead of time to make sure your plan covers a visit to the Emergency Psychiatry Service for your child. You can do this by calling the phone number on the back of your insurance card.

We will never deny a child emergency psychiatry care when they come to Boston Children's. However, once stabilized, children without insurance coverage here will be referred to another hospital or psychiatric treatment facility where he or she will be covered.


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
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337