Mental Health Services for Children

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We have never taken for granted the sacred trust you place in us to care for your child, and today we are more grateful than ever for that privilege. To learn about all the ways we are working to keep you, your family and our team members safe, visit our COVID-19 updates page.

Mental Health Services for Children

Pediatric Psychiatry and Psychology

When your child or teenager feels depressed, anxious or overwhelmed, our mental health experts use compassionate, state-of-the-art care to help them – and your family – cope and feel better.

Every child or teen experiences mental health challenges, traumas or crises. Children’s Health℠ is home to one of the nation’s most comprehensive pediatric psychiatry and psychology program. Our mental health experts help with everything from problems with mood and anxiety, to learning to manage and cope with medical illness, to struggling with eating disorders or even suicidal thoughts.

We also help you understand what type of care and what type of doctor or therapist may work best for your child. Whether it’s an outpatient evaluation, therapy services or a hospital stay, our goal is to help every patient feel better and develop skills to overcome mental health struggles, so they can live a happy, fulfilling life.

Top pediatric psychiatry experts

Psychiatrists are doctors who diagnose, treat and prevent mental health problems. We are one of only a few pediatric centers that has full-time, board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists leading all of our programs. These psychiatrists are also on the faculty at UT Southwestern. As highly trained doctors and researchers, they use the latest research and treatments to directly benefit our patients and families.

We offer a wide variety of specialized mental health programs, including:

We offer four different levels of care. This means we can match your child with the care that gives them the best opportunity to feel better. These levels are:

  • Inpatient care, for children who need 24/7 care in the hospital
  • Partial hospitalization and Day Treatment programs, for children who don’t need 24/7 care, but still may need several hours of daily treatment and care 
  • Intensive outpatient care, for children who need several hours of treatment a week
  • Outpatient care, for children who can benefit from weekly or monthly therapy

Mental health skills for kids and teens

We’ve found that child and family education is a critical part of children doing well.
Whether your child or teen comes for a few therapy sessions or sees us over a period of years, we’ll help them and you learn skills that will help throughout life. These skills include:

  • Coping with stress and challenges
  • Strategies to improve mood and decrease anxiety
  • Developing and enhancing wellness strategies 
  • Effective communication skills
  • Understanding the relationship between the mind and body
  • Education related to the child’s mental health diagnosis

Expertise in complex cases

Many children with physical health problems also have mental health issues. If a child has a physical health problem and also has depression, anxiety or another mental health problem, we have the expertise to understand how those conditions work together. Our therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists work hand-in-hand with other specialists across Children's Health. This team approach means we can understand all aspects of your child's condition and tailor treatment to their exact needs.

Support from nurses at every level of care

Nurses play a key role in helping your child cope and get better. That’s why we have nurses involved in every case, at every level of care. Our nurses take the time to answer your questions and to provide helpful education and care to your child.

Meet the Care Team