At Boston Children's Hospital, we know that emotional well-being is critical to the overall health of children and adolescents. Some children face mental health challenges, including ones that are triggered by physical illness. We apply a broad knowledge base to identify causes and formulate interventions that address the interaction of emotional, mental, and physical health needs of these children.
Children’s is known for pioneering some of the most effective techniques in mental health diagnosis and treatment for children, and a significant part of our success comes from our commitment to research. All our efforts focus on identifying and understanding critical problems, working to uncover answers that offer long-term solutions, and translating those answers into evidence-based clinical practice. Our goal is to reduce the burden of emotional and physical illnesses on children and their families.
One of our key areas of research is in the responses of children and their families to the psychological stresses associated with chronic illness, including cardiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Researchers at Children’s have developed and implemented innovative individual, family-based, and community programs for these and other conditions.
We have also created national models of treatment designed to prevent childhood depression, based on over 30 years of research. Significant risk factors for depression in children have been identified and highly effective prevention and treatment programs for children and families have been designed. Children’s researchers now train other providers on these methods, which have been adapted to different cultural settings around the world.
Our research involves the broadest possible collaborations. Just as mental health care is integrated into programs throughout Children’s to help treat the whole child, our research also involves a collaborative, multifaceted approach. We partner with clinical and research groups within the Children’s community and with other local, national, and international institutions and communities to capitalize on expertise where it exists and maximize the dissemination of our findings.