Is your child struggling with behavioral or emotional challenges? We understand this can be a very difficult and stressful time for your child and the family. We are here to help.

Our outpatient care process is designed to serve as many children as possible. We have developed skill building groups as an effective treatment for those waiting for care, while ensuring children with the most urgent needs are seen quickly.

About Our Stepped Care Model

Your child’s first step in our care will be for us to learn more about your child’s needs with an orientation/intake appointment with a member of our clinical team. That appointment will help us to identify the needs of each individual child and discuss recommendations for care. You will be asked to complete mental health screening questionnaires before the appointment in order to help guide the treatment path.

Many children will be offered group therapy to begin addressing their mental health needs instead of being placed on a wait list. Although families are not required to participate in groups and can choose to stay on the wait list for individual care, our team encourages participation in these therapy groups to begin the process of building skills and reducing symptoms.

Once group therapy is complete, children who need continued care will be offered individual, psychology, and/or psychiatry services. Due to the overwhelming demand for services, there will be a wait depending on level of need.


The mental health outpatient program offers an orientation appointment for all incoming patients and families. This visit is necessary to determine what services your child will need and provides an opportunity for our mental health team to give a brief program overview of what to expect. The visit will include collection of intake and new patient paperwork, a discussion about the reason for referral and to address concerns as well as the completion of mental health screening questionnaires.

Clinical Needs Assessment?

This assessment, performed by one of our licensed mental health clinicians, helps us to better understand the specific concerns of your child and your family. We will ask questions about your child’s mental and physical health as well as their safety and environment. Based on this assessment, we can match you with the best services for your child's unique needs. The assessment takes about one hour to complete, and it works best if both you and your child are present. This can be completed the same day as your orientation.

Mental Health Therapy

CHKD’s clinical social workers and mental health counselors offer outpatient mental health assessments as well as individual and group therapy on our main hospital campus in Norfolk and CHKD locations throughout the region. Your child may be referred to group or individual therapy (or both) depending on their needs identified during the clinical needs assessment. Learn more about mental health therapy at CHKD here.

Psychiatric Care

CHKD’s board-certified psychiatrists and mental health nurse practitioners offer outpatient mental health assessments as well as symptom management and treatment planning on our main hospital campus in Norfolk and CHKD locations throughout the region. Learn more about psychiatry at CHKD here.

Psychological Testing

Our pediatric and clinical psychologists provide psychological diagnostic assessment and testing along with individual and group therapies. Our psychologists help children and adolescents cope with a variety of stressors and conditions, paying special attention to genetic, medical, developmental, educational, social, and family factors to make a diagnosis, determine and provide the best care for each patient. Meet our psychologists and learn more here.