Contact Us

Phone: (757) 668-4673 (HOPE) 
: (757) 668-8870

Pediatric Mental Health Program

The goal of CHKD's growing pediatric mental health program is to bring excellence, innovation, accessibility, and hope to children and young adults in need of mental health care, and to empower our community to play a role in overcoming today's unprecedented mental health crisis among our youth. 

Our mental health program is guided by our vision and mission: Instill HOPE, Promote EQUITY, and Deliver EXCELLENCE.

We believe that mental health care starts with prevention and moves up to intensive levels of care when necessary. Mental health conditions can be lifelong and require episodes of care as symptoms change. The right care, at the right time, delivered the right way has profound effects on mental health. 

Our Team Approach to Care

CHKD's mental health program includes experts in the fields of child psychiatry and psychology, nurse practitioners and psychiatric nurses, clinical social workers, professional counselors, medical social workers, and mental health coaches and technicians. We strive to collaborate closely with primary care pediatricians, pediatric specialists, and caregivers on early identification of mental health vulnerabilities and to integrate care across our health system whenever possible.  Learn more about your CHKD mental health care team here.

    Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions

    It is important to recognize behaviors in children that may be symptoms of a mental health diagnoses. These symptoms may include any of the following and may occur in a variety of settings (home, school, with peers or family members):

    • Significant changes in sleep or appetite.
    • Social isolation (withdrawing from friends or activities they once enjoyed).
    • Self-injurious behavior such as head banging or cutting.
    • Significant changes in mood when compared with previous mood levels.
    • Talk about death or dying, for example: “It would be easier if I wasn’t here.”

    If You Need Help

    If you are concerned about your child's mental health, the best place to start is with your child's primary care pediatrician. Many of  CHKD's pediatricians have completed advanced training in the management of disorders such as ADHD, depression, and anxiety. If needed, they can also refer patients to CHKD's outpatient mental health providers or the CHKD emergency room for urgent needs. As always, call 911 if anyone's life is in danger. Learn more about where to start and what to expect here.