Explore This Pediatric Division

Overview

Our first priority is to evaluate and treat primary care patients at Massachusetts General Hospital and MassGeneral Hospital for Children, collaborating with your child’s treatment team on all major decisions affecting his/her mental and medical health.

If your child receives care outside of Mass General, we will try to direct you to other clinical resources for assessment and treatment. Depending on your child's situation, he or she also may benefit from taking part in one of our ongoing research studies. For more information, please call 617-726-2725.

Conditions We Treat

Our program focuses on children and adolescents, though we often care for these patients well into adulthood.

The most common conditions we treat include:

  • Adjustment disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Conduct disorders
  • Major depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Substance use disorders
  • Tourette’s syndrome and motor tic disorders

Evaluating Your Child

Prior to your child's first appointment, we will mail you a questionnaire to gather information on medical and family history, the child's development and the problems that concern you. Completing this questionnaire and bringing it with you will make the visit more efficient.

At the initial visit, you and your child will meet with a child psychiatrist, child clinical psychologist, child psychiatrist resident or child clinical psychology intern. Depending on the type of evaluation, you instead might meet with a senior staff psychiatrist and third- or fourth-year adult psychiatry resident.

If your child is experiencing particularly complex problems, he/she might benefit from a larger team evaluation. In such cases, a senior staff psychiatrist or psychologist will perform the evaluation while being observed by a group of residents or interns.

Developing a Treatment Plan

Typically a diagnosis is made after the first or second visit. However, sometimes it is necessary to have psychological testing completed for confirmation. As a next step, we will discuss with you our recommendations for your child's treatment.

Short-term therapy services are provided for certain diagnoses with follow-up as indicated. Some diagnoses require long-term care and whenever feasible, once your child has been stabilized, we work with providers in the community to assume responsibility for ongoing treatment. In this situation we are available to re-evaluate your child and resume responsibility for his/her care if necessary.

Emphasis on Training Enhances Patient Care

The Department of Psychiatry has extremely competitive and robust training programs. Most of our clinicians are actively involved in teaching and supervision, often presenting cases to residents and interns for discussion. The interaction between clinicians and trainees means that an enormous amount of thought goes into patient care—especially for those patients with unusually challenging conditions.

The Clay Center

The MGH Clay Center is based at Massachusetts General Hospital. The team is led by a team of Harvard Medical School faculty. The web-based resource educates parents and caregivers about the psychological development of children and young adults.

Clinical Programs

Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS)
Specialized support for teenagers and young adults between the ages of 14 and 26 and their parents as they deal with their substance use and related problems.

The Alan and Lorraine Bressler Clinical & Research Program for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Program dedicated to improving the clinical care of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, to advance the education of patients, families and service providers about these conditions and to expand the scientific understanding of these disorders.

Child and Adolescent Medical-Psychiatry (ChAMP) Clinic
Outpatient psychiatric consultation for children with co-morbid medical and known or suspected psychiatric symptoms.

Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Advanced clinical care for children, adolescents and young adults (ages 3-24) using the techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy.

Child Psychiatry Emergency Consult Service
Care for children and adolescents who present with acute psychiatric crises in the Mass General Emergency Department (ED). Common problems include suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts, psychotic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use or significant physical illness with acute psychiatric or neuropsychiatric manifestations. Young patients who present with acute psychiatric illness are cared for in the ED until a safe discharge to another level of care can be arranged, such as discharge to existing outpatient providers or referral to partial hospitalization programs or inpatient psychiatric units.

Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds
An educational resource for parents and other caregivers on the mental health needs of children and young adults who struggle with behavioral, emotional and learning challenges.

Eating Disorders Clinical & Research Program
Outpatient evaluation and treatment for patients ages ten and up with feeding and eating disorders.

Family and Couples Therapy Program
Consultation and therapy to families facing a wide range of challenges across the life cycle and groups for new parents looking for support and guidance in parenting young children.

First Episode and Early Psychosis Program
Consultations and care for adolescents and young adults with the first episode of psychosis.

Juvenile Court Consultation Program (JCCP)
Court-ordered clinical assessments and consultation services to the Juvenile Courts of Suffolk and Norfolk counties.

Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP)
Assessments for young people ages 2 to 22 who have developmental difficulties and consultations with their parents, teachers and care providers.

Parenting at a Challenging Time (PACT)
Guidance for parents with cancer who receive treatment at the Mass General Cancer Center who are concerned about the impact their cancer diagnosis and treatment may have on their children.

Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Program
Behavioral assessment and treatment for children and adolescents with chronic and acute medical illnesses and their families. Our team of pediatric psychologists is also committed to furthering research and training in pediatric behavioral medicine toward improving adjustment to illness and quality of life for children and families

Pediatric Consultation-Liaison Service
Psychiatric care for children admitted to the MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Tic Disorders Program
Care for children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder, tic disorders and associated co-occurring conditions, including hair-pulling and skin picking disorders, anxiety disorders and ADHD. Program provides consultation, evaluation, psycho-education and ongoing medication management.

Pediatric Psychopharmacology & Adult ADHD Program
Medication management of psychiatric disorders afflicting the young, with a special focus on pediatric mood, anxiety and bipolar disorders, autism spectrum disorders and child and adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC)
A brief screening questionnaire used by pediatricians and other health professionals to improve the recognition and treatment of psychosocial problems in children.

Performance and Character Excellence in Sports (PACES) Institute
Promotion of healthy psychological functioning, character and optimal athletic performance for athletes of all ages.

Psychology Assessment Center (PAC)
Neuropsychological and psychological assessment for individuals across the life span, from infancy through geriatrics.

Resilience Enhancement and Prevention Program 
Program to help young people develop better coping skills for managing stress with a focus on teaching techniques that increase well-being and the capacity to manage emotional reactions.

School Psychiatry Resources
This site was created for and by parents, educators and clinicians working together to support children and teens with mental health conditions.

Think:Kids
Think:Kids is a program that trains adults in a revolutionary new way of helping kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.

Transitional Age Youth Clinic
Diagnostic evaluations for emerging adults age 18-26. Common reasons for evaluation include new onset of significant psychiatric illness (such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders or psychotic disorders), transition to independent living with new providers or a more extensive network of care and graduation from the therapeutic educational system with the need for vocational and residential support.

Patient Resources

Anxiety and School

ADHD/ADD

Bullying

Dating and Domestic Violence

LGBTQ Health

Mood Disorders

Psychiatric Visits

Reading and Learning Disorders

Substance Use and Addiction

Suicide and Self-Harm

Talking to Your Teen

Wellness and Mental Health

Other Resources

Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds
The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds aims to be an educational resource for parents and other caregivers on the mental health needs of children and young adults who struggle with behavioral, emotional and learning challenges.

The Fatherhood Project
The Fatherhood Project works to improve the health and well-being of children by empowering fathers to be active, informed and emotionally engaged with their children and families.

Psychiatry Patient & Family Resource Center
A resource for patients and families providing free educational programs and information about mental health issues from Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry.

Professional Training

Mass General offers a number of pediatric training programs for clinicians at every level:

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Residency
This two-year program of specialized training in child and adolescent psychiatry is offered in collaboration with McLean Hospital.

Clinical Psychology Internship - Child Track
A predoctoral internship for matriculated doctoral students enrolled in clinical or counseling psychology programs. Interns in the child elective spend approximately 50% of their direct clinic services time in the Child Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic.

Mass General Psychiatry Academy
Utilizing the faculty and resources of Mass General's Department of Psychiatry, the Psychiatry Academy works with clinicians, departments, governments and others to improve the mental health of patients worldwide through innovative teaching methods, technology, educational research and institution level consultation.