Current Environment:

Mental Health Care | Overview

The challenges of struggling with a life-threatening, highly stigmatized illness are profound for many HIV-positive patients in the Boston Children's Hospital AIDS Program (CHAP).

Issues such as depression, bereavement, stress, medication adherence, school adjustment, and teen sexuality can make it very difficult for our CHAP patients and their families. And when poverty is also part of the struggle, the challenge can be overwhelming.

Our caregivers reach out to children, adolescents, parents, and guardians to help them cope with a variety of medical, emotional, and financial issues. We also help them work with state and local agencies, and assist them with any cultural and language barriers they may face.

Every one of our children has problems that go far beyond medicine; every one of them will deal with depression and adolescent issues.

— Sandra Burchett, MD, Clinical Director

Our social workers

Our social workers are important members of the CHAP health care team. They provide a range of services to an ethnically diverse group of HIV-positive children, adolescents, and families.

Their services include:

  • adjustment to HIV diagnosis and illness
  • anxiety
  • bereavement/loss of loved one
  • challenges of adolescence
  • coping with life transitions
  • depression
  • disclosure of diagnosis
  • emotional difficulties
  • medication adherence
  • parent-child conflict
  • relationship problems
  • school/academic adjustment
  • sequelae (conditions resulting from a disease)
  • sexuality and HIV
  • spiritual questions
  • stress management
  • substance abuse

Staff members

  • Jacqueline Miranda, MSW, LICSW, program social worker
    phone: 617-355-6832 | e-mail