Behavioral Health patient

Mental Health

(757) 668-7525

Medical experts have made great strides in the understanding and treatment of mental health challenges in young people. If your child is experiencing behavioral health issues, CHKD can help.

The Many Factors Involved

Today, we know mental illness often begins in childhood, that it is not caused by character flaws or personal weakness, and that people with mental illness cannot simply "snap out of it" if they try hard enough. Most mental health issues arise from a combination of factors such as brain chemistry, family history, and life experiences. And most people with mental health problems need help to get better.


It is important to recognize behaviors in children that can be signals of mental health problems so you know when to seek help. Symptoms of problems may include any of the following:

  • Problems in a variety of settings (home, school, with peers or family members)
  • Significant changes in sleep or appetite
  • Social isolation (withdrawing from friends/activities they once enjoyed)
  • Self-destructive behavior such as head banging or cutting
  • Mood fluctuation with very little time when they are “in control”
  • Talk about death/dying, for example: “It would be easier if I wasn’t here.”

Getting Help

You know your child best. If you are concerned, talk with your child’s CHKD pediatrician or primary medical provider.

CHKD licensed clinical social workers and licensed professional counselors offer outpatient mental health assessments and short-term therapy at the main hospital in Norfolk, and at CHKD locations in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. Our team provides therapy services to the following categories:

  • Children between the ages of 2-6 with disruptive behaviors
  • Children between the ages of 10-17 with a suspected diagnosis of anorexia nervosa
  • Children with chronic medical illness and co-occurring mood, anxiety or behavioral issues
  • Children newly placed in the foster care system
  • Children with a history of medical trauma

Our team will work with you and your child to establish specific targets achievable within 12 to 16 therapy sessions. CHKD child psychiatry collaborates with CHKD psychology to provide clinical oversight.

CHKD also provides inpatient assessment and consultation for children hospitalized for medical/surgical conditions and crisis evaluation by a licensed clinician through CHKD’s emergency department.

For more information, please email mental health or discuss a referral with your child's physician.

Our Locations
(757) 668-7525