Outpatient Psychiatry Services | New Patients

The Outpatient Psychiatry Service at Boston Children’s Hospital offers comprehensive evaluations for a wide range of conditions that affect the mental, emotional and social health of children and adolescents. New patients receive a diagnostic evaluation and specific treatment recommendations tailored to the child and family.

Who We See

A diagnostic evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of emotional and behavioral problems.  A diagnostic evaluation will help you better understand your child’s mental health. Your clinician will summarize his or her findings and provide treatment recommendations. Your clinician may recommend treatment in Outpatient Psychiatry or elsewhere. If your clinician recommends treatment, we do not guarantee that you will be treated at Boston Children’s Hospital. Please note that diagnostic evaluations do not include neuropsychological testing.

To be eligible for a diagnostic evaluation in our clinic, patients must meet one of the following criteria: 

  • primary care doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital
  • ongoing and active care for a chronic medical illness or condition at a Boston Children’s Hospital specialty clinic
  • primary care in a Pediatric Physicians' Organization at Children's (PPOC) practice.

We primarily serve patients who are 4-17 years old at the time of the scheduled evaluation appointment, but will sometimes see younger or older patients.

If you have questions about your child’s eligibility for a diagnostic evaluation, call our clinic at 617-355-6680 (option 1).

We do not evaluate patients in crisis, or patients who have an eating disorder or a substance abuse disorder as the main problem. For these concerns, we refer you to the following programs:

  • for immediate safety concerns, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department
  • for concerns about a possible eating disorder in your child, contact the Boston Children’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program
  • for concerns about a possible substance abuse disorder in your child, contact the Boston Children’s Hospital Adolescent Substance Abuse Program

Requesting an evaluation

To request a psychiatric evaluation, please call us at 617-355-6680 (option 1).  We will call you for an initial screening within one to two business days.  Please note that we must speak directly to the child’s parent/legal guardian.

Please have the following information ready:

  • your child’s full name, address and date of birth
  • your 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), and the subscriber identification 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 brief description of your child's behaviors and symptoms
  • a brief description of your goals for the evaluation

After the initial screening, we will send you a family self-report form by mail to help us learn more about your child's mental health, general health and development. For your convenience, you can download a copy of our family self-report form here.  Please bring this form with you to your evaluation appointment. Un versión de español de Cuestionario de Psiquiatría para la Familia está aquí.

The Outpatient Psychiatry Service uses an internet-based program called TriVox Health as one way to monitor your child's symptoms (such as inattention, anxiety, depression).  During the initial phone screening, you will be asked if you would like to set up an account.  You will also have an opportunity to set up an account for your child ifhe/she is 13 or older.  If you agree to create a TriVox Health account, your provider may choose to send you or your child surveys prior to your first visit.

Helpful Tips for your Outpatient Appointment

How to Find Us
Boston: Enter through the revolving door at the hospital’s main entrance, turn left, take the blue Fegan elevators to the 8th floor.

Waltham: Enter through the main entrance, staying on the first floor, head towards the East Wing.

Parking and Transportation
Boston Children’s Hospital is accessible by car and public transportation. For driving directions and information on parking and nearby MBTA service, click here.

Conveniences, Dining, and More
There are many amenities within the main hospital building, as well as in the surrounding Longwood Medical Area. For more information, click here.