#1 Ranked Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report
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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Learn more about our ranking as the top pediatric hospital here.
Our team of expert psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, psychologists, social workers and other health professionals at Boston Children's Hospital work closely with you and your child to devise a comprehensive treatment plan that:
Outpatient Psychiatry Service clinicians use a combination of tools to treat children and adolescents in individual, family or group settings, including:
Medication can be an effective part of a comprehensive treatment plan for psychiatric disorders of childhood and adolescence. Treatment recommendations, including medication, occur following the completion of a diagnostic psychiatric evaluation of your child.
When prescribed appropriately and taken as prescribed, psychiatric medication may lessen or eliminate the concerning symptoms your child is experiencing (such as anxiety, depression, hyperactivity) and improve the day to day functioning of your child.
The current recommendations of medication use in children are based upon clinical research which supports the safety and effectiveness of psychiatric medications in children with mental health disorders. The prescription of medications for children is based upon this clinical research, as well as guidelines for practice from national organizations, including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).
Numerous medications are now FDA approved for childhood psychiatric disorders, including treating Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Bipolar Mania, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Schizophrenia, as well as irritability associated with Autistic Disorder.
Medications can be started before, alongside with, or after therapy/educational treatments, depending on the clinical research and the needs of the child. Traditionally, therapies are recommended before medication. This is most typical for children with relatively milder mental health problems, or at families choosing.
However, when the severity of the child’s problem is such that the disorder is interfering with day to day functioning and/or prevents active participation in therapy (e.g., high degree of depression preventing school attendance and/or coping skill development), beginning with medication may be a reasonable approach. Also, at present, many communities lack experienced pediatric mental health providers. Therefore, starting medication may be the only science-based intervention practically available.
Often times medication treatment occurs alongside therapy. For many disorders (e.g., Depression; OCD), clinical research supports the combination of medication and therapy to be the most effective treatment available, based upon the following assumptions:
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.”