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Child Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

Talk to An Intake Coordinator

Call our confidential intake line at 413-794-5555   for more information.

Children suffering with mental health or behavioral issues deserve expert, compassionate care. Our child psychiatry and behavioral medicine team works together with our children’s medical specialists to give complete psychiatric and psychological services to kids, adolescents, and their families.

CHILDHOOD BEHAVIORAL & MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS WE TREAT

Whether your child is coping with a newly diagnosed medical condition or with a behavioral health challenge, we work with you and your child’s care team to develop a treatment plan. We can help children and teens with a wide variety of behavioral and psychiatric conditions, such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Mood disorders, including depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

If your child or teen has been diagnosed with an acute or chronic medical condition, they may need help adjusting. We can support kids who have a range of conditions, including:

  • Blood disorders
  • Cancer
  • Cardiac disorders
  • Diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Obesity

OUTPATIENT SERVICES

We’ll work with you, your child, and your child’s care team to determine the right treatment and follow-up. Depending on your child’s case, we may suggest:

  • Biofeedback
  • Child Partial Hospitalization Program
  • Eating Disorders Program
  • Family, group, and individual therapy
  • Psychiatric care for patients ages 2 to 18
  • Psychological testing

Inpatient Services

We now have a temporary 12-bed child/adolescent psychiatric unit on our Baystate Medical Center campus. This unit addresses the critical shortage of behavioral health services for children in our region – one step towards meeting the behavioral health needs of our younger population.

A FAMILY-CENTERED APPROACH TO CHILD PSYCHIATRY

Our approach to care is centered around your family. We understand the value in ensuring our treatment aligns with your family’s values and needs. We will also work to ensure we are part of the broader team serving your child and family – including educators and other health care professionals.

WE ARE ONE CALL AWAY

The Central Intake Service at Baystate Medical Center (413-794-5555) provides a confidential link for patients, families, and providers for easy access to our services. This includes a streamlined referral system to quickly initiate treatment.

Child Partial Hospitalization Program

Children and adolescents from ages 5 to 18 who have emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric difficulties may benefit from our Child Partial Hospitalization Program. We provide compassionate, intensive crisis intervention and stabilization through talk therapy and activities aimed at improving emotional well-being.

The program can either provide an alternative to full hospitalization for children and adolescents, or serve as a transition from inpatient care to less intensive outpatient care. The goal is to improve their level of functioning while maintaining important family and community connections.

Expert Team to Care for Your Child

Our team of experts works closely with families, schools, community clinicians, and involved agencies to help children and adolescents function with minimal disruptions to their life:

  • Children typically participate in the program for a week or two.
  • Children and adolescents attend the Partial Hospitalization Program five days a week, from 8:50 am to 2 pm.
  • Children continue to live at home while they participate in our program.
  • Families are assigned a case manager who coordinates their child’s care and is their primary contact.
  • The multidisciplinary care team includes child psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, mental health counselors, and teachers.

Your Child’s Treatment

Our team members focus on helping your child learn skills to:

  • Manage their emotions
  • Improve their relationships
  • Meet academic expectations
  • Treatment is tailored to your child’s needs and includes:
  • Psychiatric consultation
  • Group psychotherapy
  • Family meetings
  • Individual therapy
  • Psychoeducational groups
  • Creative arts group
  • Academic/tutorial classrooms

Access

To learn more about our Child Partial Hospitalization Program, call the Behavioral Health Central Intake line at 413-794-5555.

Student Clinical Intervention Program

The Student Clinical Intervention Program (SCIP) is designed for students whose emotional behavioral and/or psychiatric difficulties are causing significant disruption in school, but who may not qualify for the Child Partial Hospital Program.

We offer:

  • Short-term, intensive crisis intervention
  • Thorough evaluation of psychiatric and behavioral health needs

The SCIP team includes clinical social workers and child psychiatric providers who perform a diagnostic evaluation, may prescribe medication, and have ongoing contact with students throughout their stay in the SCIP.

Length of stay in the SCIP program depends on individual needs and treatment plan, but is generally from two to four weeks in duration. Following the initial evaluation, the SCIP treatment team meets with the referring school district and the student’s family to discuss the recommended treatment plan, including anticipated discharge date.

SCIP treatment is focused on stabilizing the student’s mental health symptoms and facilitating their transition back into their designated academic placement. We provide recommendations regarding additional services, including educational supports and mental health services, to the school and family.

Expert Team to Care for Your Child

Your family’s primary contact is a case manager specifically assigned to you. This case manager coordinates all aspects of the treatment along with a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including:

  • Child psychiatrists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Clinical nurse specialists
  • Psychiatric case managers
  • Registered nurses
  • Mental health counselors
  • Teachers
  • Your Child’s Treatment

Students attend SCIP five days a week from 8:50 am until 2 pm but continue to live in their home throughout treatment. Treatment plans are based on individual student needs. They include the following components:

  • Psychiatric consultation
  • Group psychotherapy
  • Family meetings
  • Individual therapy
  • Psychoeducational groups
  • Creative arts group
  • Case management
  • Academic/tutorial classroom
  • Milieu therapy (see below)

Students have one and a half hours per day of academic tutorial time. Massachusetts curriculum frameworks are followed. It is requested that your child’s school provide work assignments.

Milieu Therapy

Milieu refers to the treatment environment. Our milieu is nurturing and respectful. Your child feels safe, valued, and encouraged. They will succeed within and outside the program. Challenging behavior is viewed as the result of deficits in particular skills, and the focus of treatment is teaching these skills.

Access

Referrals to the Student Clinical Intervention Program may be made by special education directors or their designees. For referrals, please contact Behavioral Health's Central Intake Office at 413-794-5555.

Medical Coping Clinic (MCC)

The Medical Coping Clinic (MCC) is a team of therapists in Baystate Medical Center’s Child Outpatient Psychiatry service. We provide specialized behavioral support for children, teens, and young adults with medical conditions, as well as their families and caregivers. Our staff focuses on supporting young people and their families and caregivers in improving both their physical health and their emotional well-being.

We Offer:

  • Coping with medical stress
  • Adjustment to new diagnosis
  • Management of chronic pain
  • Improving adherence to treatment guidelines
  • Parent and caregiver support
  • Treatment of co-occurring behavioral health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems, among others
  • Strengthening resiliency
  • Promoting health behavior changes, such as exercise and healthy eating habits
  • And more.

What to Expect

Your first visit is an intake appointment, during which your therapist will get to know you and your family members better, develop an understanding of both the psychological and medical impact of your illness, and work with you to develop a treatment plan based on the goals that are most important to you.

As part of the process of getting to know you better, as well as to make sure you are making progress toward achieving your goals, your therapist may ask you to complete some questionnaires. These will be sent to you through either text or an email from a website called Mirah.

Therapy can focus on working individually with the child, with the family as a whole, or a combination of both.

Most sessions will be focused on talking and, when developmentally appropriate, playing.

Our therapists are trained in evidence based treatment models. We strive to use interventions that have been proven to be effective.

The typical length of treatment varies depending on the presenting issues and your goals. In some situations (e.g., a single, specific challenge around achieving weight loss goals), a brief consultation of one meeting or a few meetings may make the most sense. When more longstanding and/or serious medical and mental health concerns are present, treatment will be longer.

Make an Appointment: 413-794-5555

Ask your doctor for a referral to the MCC. Once your doctor sends us a referral, our team will contact you to verify your insurance information and schedule your intake visit.