Current Environment:

Not every caregiver has the same reaction to having a child hospitalized for a psychiatric illness. It may be frightening, upsetting and hard to come to terms with, or it may be a relief that your child is getting help. In either case, you may feel guilt, shame, sadness or anger that your child is struggling with psychiatric illness.

The hospital environment can also be overwhelming and intimidating. Caregivers have to give up many of their caregiving responsibilities, and you may feel left out when this happens. You may feel embarrassed, especially if your child has behavior problems. All of these feelings are completely normal.

While your child is here, you are part of the team. We encourage you to keep a list of questions and important information that you want to talk about with us. You know your child better than anyone else, so any information you can give us about your child's strengths, favorite activities, or reactions to difficult situations will be very helpful for us.

Our unit

The Boston Children's Hospital Inpatient Psychiatry Service (IPS) is located at both the Longwood and Waltham campuses of Boston Children’s Hospital. At Longwood, a 16-bed, secure inpatient psychiatric unit is located on the fifth floor of the Bader building, known as Bader 5 - IPS. At Waltham, a 12-bed, secure inpatient psychiatric unit is located in the west wing of the main building, known as 5 West – Waltham – IPS. Both units are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

Our patients

We treat children and adolescents ages 8 to 17. Although not all of our patients have physical illnesses, we specialize in the treatment of youth with physical illnesses who also have emotional or behavioral difficulties.

Our care

We provide patient and family centered care. We use focused psychiatric assessment and current, effective treatments within a safe environment to help stabilize your child's behavioral health crisis. The goal is to help empower your child and family to make changes that will make a difference in terms of safety at home, school, and in the community. We work together to determine as soon as we can the next best steps for transitioning out of the acute-care setting of the IPS.

Download the Inpatient Psychiatry Service Caregiver Guide for more information.