McLean Hospital, under the leadership of Scott Rauch, M.D., is the largest psychiatric teaching facility of Harvard Medical School. Founded in 1811, in Charlestown, as the original psychiatric department of the Massachusetts General Hospital, it was moved to Belmont in 1895. McLean Hospital operates the largest psychiatric neuroscience research program of any Harvard University-affiliated facility and of any private psychiatric hospital in the country.
The Child and Adolescent Program at McLean Hospital, under the leadership of Joseph Gold, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, is one of the foremost clinical programs for helping young people and their families cope with psychiatric illness and the challenges it often brings. It offers a full spectrum of services: acute inpatient, partial hospitalization, short- and long-term residential, outpatient treatment and specialized academic programs, all designed to emphasize each young person’s strengths and promote recovery through a continuum of care. Rapid, state-of-the-art diagnosis is integrated with thorough psychosocial assessment so that treatment is tailored to each child’s needs.
To achieve the best possible integration with treatment, McLean has developed three special education schools and a Learning Evaluation Clinic. Classroom-based models are also used in the residential and inpatient units.
Working collaboratively with family, referrers and agencies, realistic treatment goals are established with the child and his/her caregivers. Family-driven decisions and education are explicit components of every treatment plan. Active efforts are made to learn from the family, recognize the child’s strengths and educate the family about the child’s disorder. Staff works closely with family members and their treatment providers to coordinate planning, strengthen the family system and provide the smoothest possible transition from the hospital’s programs into the community.
Various levels of care are offered at McLean’s campus in Belmont, Massachusetts.
- The Adolescent Day and Residential Treatment (ART) Program provides structured, 24-hour care in an unlocked setting for adolescents who require intensive short- or long-term care. The program serves both as an alternative to, and step-down from, acute inpatient hospital care and offers dialectical behavior therapy and anger management tracks. The short-term ART has a specialty track for teens with substance use disorder problems.
- The Partial Hospitalization Program offers a highly structured intervention for individuals who are in acute crisis but can reside in the community. This program offers more intensive psychiatric supervision and treatment than is possible in outpatient settings. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Outpatient services offer comprehensive treatment, including individual, group and family therapy, and medication management. Rapid, accurate diagnosis forms a framework for individualized treatment.
Carefully designed therapy groups address children’s social skill development and support for parents.
Clinicians work closely with the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic that serves a wide range of children and families presenting with complex disorders. The clinic utilizes a multimodal treatment approach and has close ties with numerous community clinical resources.
Professionals in the Learning Evaluation Clinic provide neuropsychiatric and educational evaluation, and work with school systems and parents to assess barriers to effective learning. They also aid in the development of educational strategies that make the most of the child’s learning style.
In an effort to integrate education and treatment, McLean offers a number of academic opportunities for children at its Belmont campus.
The Arlington School is a fully accredited school for college-bound students, grades 7 to 12, who are involved in intensive psychotherapeutic treatment and require a highly structured, supportive environment for learning.
Pathways Academy serves elementary through high school students with Asperger’s and related disorders. Social pragmatics, language skills and sensory motor integration are emphasized together with a full academic program.
The Child and Adolescent Program employs a multidisciplinary staff of child psychiatrists, neuropsychologists and psychologists, clinical social workers, nurses and advanced practice nurses, educators, mental health specialists and psychopharmacologists. Clinical staff has special expertise working with trauma survivors and treating substance use disorders. In addition, staff members have extensive experience working with patients of diverse sociocultural and linguistic backgrounds. As clinicians, researchers and public educators, staff members are deeply involved in serving and advocating for the mental heath of young people.
Both MGH and McLean Hospital have extensive facilities for pediatric examinations and treatment, routine laboratory testing, electroencephalography and neuroimaging procedures.
Residents have access to both the McLean Mental Health Science Library and the MGH Treadwell Library. These libraries contain a full range of reference books, journals and computer services. Trainees also have access to the Harvard Medical School Countway Library and the libraries of Harvard University.