Helping Your Child Feel Like a Kid Again

McLean’s unique approach to child and adolescent mental health care. Call us today to speak to our admission staff about treatment options.

Mental illness affects approximately 1 in 5 children. These illnesses often go undiagnosed for years, making them more serious over time. At McLean Hospital, we know the earlier mental health difficulties are recognized, the easier it is to teach children skills to overcome challenges and manage symptoms.

As the #1 freestanding psychiatric hospital, according to U.S. News & World Report, McLean offers care tailored to your child’s individual needs. We provide a range of self-pay and insurance-based programs for children and adolescents. Let our specialists make sure you find the diagnosis and care that are best for your child and get them back on the path to a happy childhood.

We Are Here to Help

4 teens

Call us today to learn more about treatment options at McLean. We will help you find the program that’s right for your child and walk you through the admission process.

4 teens

Fostering a Lifetime of Mental Wellness

Children and teens are not just little adults—they have their own important mental health needs as they develop.

Studies suggest that almost one-third of all mental health problems start in childhood. This includes data showing that suicide is the second leading cause of death—starting at age 10 and extending to age 34.

This is compounded by the mental health and learning impacts on children and families as we emerge from three years of the direct and indirect effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

At McLean’s Nancy and Richard Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, we provide world-class care to children ages 3-19. We focus on an array of diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder, and addiction.

Our specialty treatment programs for kids and teens with OCD—and also for those with emotion dysregulation, suicide/self-injury, and symptoms of personality disorders—are among the best in the world.

To help meet the needs of our young patients, we offer inpatient and residential treatment options, where kids are at McLean day and night receiving intensive, around-the-clock care.

We also have partial hospital programs and intensive outpatient programs, where kids are in our programs during the day, but sleep at home.

Each of our treatment programs helps young people and their families using evidence-based approaches to diagnose what is going on and determine what type of treatment will best offer improvement. These treatment can include medications and therapy that helps children and parents develop the skills they need to reduce symptoms and improve functioning at home, with peers, and in school.

“Our multidisciplinary teams are dedicated to working with children, teens, young adults, and their parents, who are struggling with the challenges of mental health problems,” says Daniel P. Dickstein, MD, FAAP, chief of the Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

“We believe in providing the best clinical care available to change lives and offer hope, while also innovating a better tomorrow through research and training opportunities,”

Learn more about how focusing on mental health sets up your child for lifelong success

Boy plays catch outside

Expert Treatment at a Glance

  • As a leader in child and adolescent mental health, McLean’s programs use proven treatments to help nurture skills that support growth and healthy functioning.
  • Assessment occurs at admission and throughout treatment to pinpoint diagnosis and provide information to clinicians to create a customized care plan for each child
  • Group therapy is a hallmark of treatment at McLean, giving young people the opportunity to work on skill building, learn about their diagnoses, and draw support from peers
  • Family involvement is a crucial part of child and adolescent mental health to educate parents, caregivers, and siblings so they can support the child as they transition from care back to their home
  • Medication consultation, when indicated, can be important to managing mental health, so patients meet with a psychiatrist as needed
  • McLean offers academic programs and affiliations with academic institutions for youth who are able to focus on school while participating in their care

Young Minds, Still Growing

As the brain and body develop from infancy through adulthood, kids and teens may encounter an array of challenges.

Some issues may be easy to solve, while others may result in crisis. Some young people are able to deal with these challenges. Other children may need assistance to navigate their way through these problems.

Child and adolescent care focuses on mental health symptoms and diagnoses as they apply to youth development. Treatment is focused on supporting young people and their parents and families on the path to recovery.

While the brain is still developing, mental health care can be a challenge. The therapies and treatments that work for adults might not fully address the same issues in a child. The treatment concepts might be confusing to a young mind.

Our expert clinicians and support staff teach kids and teens to develop skills to manage their illnesses in a way that they can understand and can build upon as they get older.

Learn more about child and teen mental health conditions.

A Patient’s Perspective

Deconstructing Stigma participant Abby and Mary

Mary and her sister Abby struggle with anxiety and other mental health issues. Learn more about their journey to mental wellness.

Deconstructing Stigma participant Abby and Mary

Supporting the Whole Family

Family involvement is a key component to youth mental health and ongoing efforts to support lifelong mental wellness.

Supporting a child who is struggling with their mental health can be a challenge for parents and caregivers. Treating a child also includes resources, groups, and support for family members and caregivers. This prevents burnout and other unwanted effects throughout the family.

It is important for parents to understand the mental health conditions and the steps clinicians are suggesting to best help their child. Parent and caregiver education is a regular part of child and teen care.

Parents and guardians are also often taught the same skills their kids are learning. This allows them to help the child to practice the skills outside of treatment and use the skills to manage challenging thoughts and behaviors.

Support from parents, siblings, and other members of the child’s community is crucial to maintaining the gains from treatment.

If your child or teen is struggling, McLean is here to help. Contact us at 617.855.2820 to learn more about treatment options.