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Inpatient Psychiatry


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Inpatient psychiatry services for children and adolescents at Children's National Medical Center is provided through the Division of Psychiatry, one of the earliest pediatric programs in the nation. Throughout our history, we have emphasized a family-centered approach to care for the benefit of patients and their families.

Support and Inpatient Services
We recognize how challenging a child’s illness can be for the entire family, especially when parents cannot see what’s wrong. Mental illness and psychiatric conditions are particularly complex because there are many factors that may influence your child’s emotions and behaviors. As well, the signs and symptoms of a psychiatric condition are often different between younger children and teens.

Our multidisciplinary team is composed of pediatric psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, academic counselors, psychologists, and expressive (art) therapists, who see to all aspects of care. They have extensive experience in the specialized care and treatment of children and teens with complicated emotional and behavioral disturbances.

The inpatient unit was specifically designed to meet the developmental and psychiatric needs of children and adolescents. We offer two separate programs to meet the distinct medical needs of children and teens — a 12-bed unit for patients aged 2-12 and a 14-bed unit for those aged 13-17. Working closely with pediatric specialists at Children’s National, we can also treat patients with other medical conditions on the psychiatric unit, including children with diabetes, HIV, and eating disorders.

Research and Clinical Trials
Children’s Research Institute supports medical research to improve understanding of various pediatric psychiatric disorders and to identify new therapies and treatments that will improve quality of life and outcomes for patients. Current studies include inpatient clinical trials for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

For more information about Children’s research and how to enroll your child in a clinical study, speak with a member of your child’s primary physician or member of the care team.

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