Behavioral Health

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Behavioral health is an increasing issue for children's hospitals.

Children’s hospitals are seeing a growing number of children with behavioral and mental health needs; often, families don’t know where to turn. This has put pressure on facilities not designed to care for combative, aggressive or at-risk patients. 

This complex issue is leading to higher costs of care and longer hospital stays, contributing to provider burnout and injuries, and uncovering the lack of specialized community services. 

New strategies are needed to ensure these children have the best outcomes. Many children’s hospitals are developing programs that support staff in recognizing signs, preventing escalation, and connecting patients and families with the right kind of care. 


Commentary: Mental Health Presents a New Wave of Issues for Children
October 23, 2018

Children's hospitals have a role in advancing behavioral health solutions in partnership with states and community providers.

Kids in Crisis: Children's Hospitals Confront Behavioral Health Care Challenges
October 23, 2018

Children and adolescents across the country are facing behavioral health crisis more than ever before. Here's what five children's hospitals are ...

Study: Negative Interactions on Social Media Have Bigger Effect on Teens Than Positive Ones
October 23, 2018

Negative experiences on social media carry more weight than positive interactions when it comes to the likelihood of young adults reporting ...

Maternal Depression May Alter Stress and Immune Markers in Children
October 16, 2018

Research suggests depression in women may affect their children's stress and well-being.

Analysis or Summary
Mental and Behavioral Health Legislative and Regulatory Tracker
September 10, 2018

Mental and Behavioral Health Tracker

Pediatric Suicide-Related Hospital Visits Double
July 19, 2018

The number of encounters at children's hospitals for suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide increased steadily from 2008-15.

Children's Hospital's New Substance Abuse Program Focuses on Prevention
June 13, 2018

Substance abuse is a pediatric health care issue. Here's how one children's hospital is bringing care to the community.

Presentation or Recording
Behavioral Health Webinar Series
May 15, 2018

This series focuses on operational strategies for improving behavioral care management, facility design and staff capabilities; managing complex ...

Q&A: The Effect of Violence on Children's Mental Health
May 10, 2018

A child psychiatrist talks about the role of violence in mental health.

Pediatric Mental Health Should Be Everyone's Concern
May 9, 2018

Routine screening can help families overcome barriers to receiving mental health care.

Telepsychiatry Helps Address Nation's Mental Health Care Shortage
May 9, 2018

A rapidly growing specialty can help close the gap between doctors and patients.

Screening for Postpartum Depression Helps Improve Child Health Outcomes
May 9, 2018

Education and screening are key to treating postpartum depression.

Families Seeking Mental Health Resources Need Compassion and Respect
May 8, 2018

This nurse shares his story of losing a son to suicide and how that fuels his passion to help families and kids with mental health needs.

Commentary: Use Telehealth to Extend and Spread Pediatric Mental Health Services
May 8, 2018

For this doctor, providing resources for families and children facing mental or behavioral health issues is personal.

Hospital Room Design Strategies to Keep Behavioral Health Patients Safe
April 27, 2018

A facilities expert discusses room design strategies to keep behavioral health patients and caregivers safe.

Letter or Testimony
CHA and Allied Groups Request FY 2019 Funding for Pediatric Mental Health Grants
April 26, 2018

On April 25, CHA joined allied pediatric and mental providers in requesting FY 2019 funding for the pediatric mental health care access grants that ...

Two Questions That Help Screen Pediatric Patients for Depression and Suicide
March 8, 2018

Rady Children's Hospital is screening all patients over the age of 12 in the emergency department.

Military Funds Research of Cannabis-based Autism Treatment for Kids
March 1, 2018

Trial aims to study the effectiveness of cannabidivarin on irritability and repetitive behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Policy Position
CHA Comments on CMS Suicide Risk Prevention Guidelines
February 9, 2018

CHA provided CMS with initial recommendations regarding upcoming agency guidelines on suicide risk assessment and mitigation for psychiatric units of ...

Analysis or Summary
Comments on Joint Commission Suicide Prevention Draft Guidelines
December 15, 2017

This CHA comment letter provides the Joint Commission with feedback from several children’s hospitals on its draft suicide prevention guidelines.

4 Resources to Help You Tackle the Growing Need for Pediatric Mental Health Services
November 8, 2017

Sessions and posters at the Annual Leadership Conference offer ways to help hospitals provide better mental health care for the pediatric population.

7 Challenges to Providing Behavioral and Mental Health Services
November 8, 2017

To provide the best mental health care, start by looking at the barriers to that care.

Emerging Trends in Pediatrics to Watch
October 26, 2017

A pediatric leader shares what she sees as the biggest challenges and opportunities in pediatric health care.

Study Identifies Hospitalization Risk Factors for Kids with Autism
October 4, 2017

A study of children and teens with autism found risk factors that are associated with an increased likelihood of seeking inpatient psychiatric care.

Adolescent Care at the Intersection of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
August 31, 2017

This children's hospital's program combines substance abuse treatment with behavioral health care.

Discussion Group

Discuss with hospital colleagues how to manage care for children with behavioral and mental health needs. Topics include programs, staff support, cost of care and more. The new group is open to all members.

Clinician Training

New online courses through Pediatric Learning Solutions prepare clinicians working in areas where pediatric patients with psychiatric and/or behavioral health disorders may be encountered.