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Inpatient and Emergency Mental Health Care

(757) 668-4673 (HOPE)

Mental Health Emergency Care

If you are concerned about an attempted overdose, or attempted suicide by any means, immediately call 911.

If you have concerns of self-harm, harm towards others, or notice a severe change in behavior, bring your child to the nearest emergency department for an evaluation. If you believe it is unsafe to bring the child yourself, call 911 to make arrangements for safe transport.

What to Bring With You to the Emergency Department

  • A list of your child's current medical and mental health medications
  • In the event of an overdose, the pill bottle(s) from which the pills were taken.
  • The names and contact information for your child's medical and mental health treatment providers.
  • Your diver's license and insurance card.

What to Expect Upon Arrival at the Emergency Department

Your child will be registered and triaged through the Emergency Department. If there are no medical concerns, your child may be placed in the Mental Health Emergency Services (MHES) wing of the Emergency Department. You and your child will also meet with a pediatric emergency room doctor, mental health evaluator, nurses, and often, medical doctor trainees. The purpose of these meetings is to ensure your child’s medical stability and to assess their safety.

The mental health evaluation will review your child’s mental health treatment history, mental health medication regimen, a history of symptoms, and the current problems. The ultimate goal of this evaluation is to ensure the child’s safety and to determine appropriate interventions.

If the clinical assessment determines your child's symptoms require inpatient hospitalization because of concerns for safety or symptoms that significantly interfere with functioning, it is likely mental health hospitalization will be recommended.

If the evaluation does not indicate a need for hospitalization, the team will assist you in creating a discharge plan. The discharge plan will include recommendations for other levels of care and follow up information as available. 

Being seen in our emergency room does not guarantee available outpatient care at CHKD.


Mental Health Emergency Services (MHES)

The MHES is 6-bed secured wing of the Emergency Department dedicated to treating children and adolescents who come to the Emergency Department with mental or behavioral health crises without any medical concerns. It has been designed for the care of patients with mental health concerns. It is not a psychiatric treatment facility and does not have 24-hour on site psychiatry coverage. Visitors in the MHES are limited.

Inpatient Mental Health Care - Coming Soon

We do not currently have inpatient psychiatric programs at CHKD. Children who need those services will be hospitalized at other hospitals. We look forward to opening inpatient programs later this year to serve children with general mental health concerns, with co-occurring physical and mental health concerns, and with neurodevelopmental concerns.

Practice Locations
(757) 668-4673 (HOPE)

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. Someone is available 24 hours a day in English or Spanish.