Behavioral Health

Behavioral health

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental, emotional and behavioral health in children had reached a crisis level.

  • 1 in 5 children and youth experience a mental health condition in a given year
  • 6% of children ages 6 to 17 have been diagnosed with serious emotional or behavioral difficulties like autism
  • Admissions and emergency department visits for suicide attempts doubled at children’s hospitals from 2008 to 2015

With school closures due to the pandemic, children and teens experienced greater isolation and increased family stress. Severe mental health conditions such as suicide ideation, self-injury and substance abuse disorder began to increase. Children’s hospitals emergency departments are overwhelmed with families in need of immediate help.

There is urgent need to address the behavioral health needs of children through pediatric settings, partnerships with schools and community-based organizations and advocacy for more supportive public policies.

Children’s hospitals continue to highlight the need for immediate federal, state and local support to help providers meet the demand for services, exacerbated by the pandemic.

Reference Material

Pediatric Behavioral Health Integration in Primary Care: Commentary
Four behavioral health experts from nationally ranked children’s hospitals comment on what integrated behavioral health care means for pediatrics.

Press Release
Mental and Behavioral Health in Children: A Crisis Made Worse by the Pandemic

Children’s Hospital Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics launch an awareness campaign on the severity of the crisis.

Talking Points
Children’s 2021 Public Policy Priorities

Learn more about our ask to Congress to use COVID-19 relief efforts in support of children and their health care providers.

5 Ways to Make Behavioral Health Part of Every Child's Care

Learn more about how one hospital created statewide change in meeting behavioral health needs.

Costs and Reimbursements for Mental Health Hospitalizations at Children’s Hospitals

This study assessed costs, reimbursements, and net profits or losses for over 111,000 mental health and non–mental health medical hospitalizations in children’s hospitals.

Behavioral Health Care Moves Front and Center

Nationwide Children's Hospital launches country's largest pediatric behavioral health facility, seeks to erase stigmas while meeting community needs.

Behavioral Health Summit

The summit offered learning opportunities to address strategies to improve advocacy, prevention, early identification, timely diagnosis and creative approaches for effective treatment.

Continue Learning

Behavioral Health

The Behavioral Health Learning Series is a five-part webinar series exploring care models and strategies to improve access and capacity. 

Build Awareness

CHA launches "Sound the Alarm for Kids," a communications initiative to raise awareness regarding the current situation on children and teens' mental health by declaring a national mental health emergency. Find out how to engage in this national effort.

Discussion Group

Discuss with hospital colleagues how to manage care for children with behavioral health needs. Topics include programs, staff support, cost of care and more.

Clinician Training

Online courses prepare clinicians working in areas where pediatric patients with psychiatric or behavioral health disorders may be encountered.