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Behavioral Health


Inpatient Services


Behavioral health has become an ever more urgent area of healthcare for children and youth. In recent years, we have witnessed a marked increase in conditions ranging from mood and anxiety disorders to psychotic disorders. These conditions involve extremely distressing behaviors, including substance abuse, self-injurious actions, suicidal ideation and actual suicide attempts or drug overdoses.

Inpatient behavioral health

Medical staff treats the primary medical condition for the visit; but children with co-morbid mental health and addiction diagnoses need a clear plan to address the underlying co-occurring behavioral health issues after discharge. To address this NCH has hired a Licensed Clinician Mental Health Professional in the role of our Pediatric Behavioral Health Navigator (PBHN).

Outpatient behavioral health

Our goal is to have our inpatient and outpatient counselors integrate the services for these affected children without interruption of services by providing continuation of care. Our counselors will facilitate evidence based individual and group therapies involving the teaching and use of mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness for addressing adolescent suicidal, self-injury and impulsive behaviors.

Crisis visits to the emergency department

The NCH Pediatric ED has seen a steady increase in the number of behavioral health-related pediatric emergency visits. The number of children who are evaluated within our Pediatric ED and a Baker Act is initiated has more than doubled within the last seven years. Many times, a child in crisis will come to the Pediatric ER waiting days after medical clearance before they are transferred to a mental healthcare facility. Our vision includes adding a Pediatric Safe Space Room within the emergency department that can provide basic facilities, including bathroom and shower, for youth waiting to be transferred to other facilities.