Pediatric Mental & Behavioral Health

Pediatric Mental & Behavioral Health

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Like adults, children can face psychological and emotional challenges. One in five children in the U.S. has a mental health problem, yet many don’t receive the help they need. And conditions like ADHD or learning disabilities may be mistaken for behavioral problems.

Early diagnosis and treatment can help kids manage their mental health conditions and reach their full potential.

Behavioral & Mental Disorders in Children

It’s natural for children to experience worry and fear – and they may even behave disruptively at times. But if your child’s symptoms are extreme and persistent, resulting in problems at home, school or with friends, it could signal a more serious problem.

At Mercy, our experts diagnose and treat a wide range of behavioral and mental disorders in children.

Mercy Kids knows how important psychological health is to your child’s well-being. Our pediatric behavioral health experts get to know your child’s unique personality, behaviors and challenges. And we provide the individual care and support they need to thrive.

Mercy Kids Cares for Mental Health & Wellness

Our child behavioral health specialists include psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed professional counselors (LPCs), licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) and nurse practitioners. A triage nurse answers every phone call, responding to your questions and helping you find the assistance you need. Your Mercy Kids care team evaluates your child, develops a personalized treatment plan, and follows your child and family until the issues are fully resolved.

Pediatric Behavioral Assessment 

Mercy provides psychiatric evaluations for children. Often, these evaluations are completed by teachers or parents.

The most commonly used assessment tools for children’s mental health include:

Vanderbilt Assessment Scales

This test may be given if a more general assessment suggests your child shows signs of ADHD. It helps assess the severity of ADHD symptoms and other behavioral concerns that can affect everyday life and schoolwork.

Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) Modified for Teens

This self-completed questionnaire helps doctors identify depression and suicide risk in adolescents. To encourage honest answers, kids usually complete the questionnaire alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening children for depression annually.

Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED)

SCARED is a screening tool used to identify symptoms of anxiety in children. Questionnaires for both children and parents are used to help doctors determine whether kids have conditions like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), separation anxiety, panic disorder, social phobia or school phobia.

Additional tests and diagnostic tools may also be used to help identify pediatric behavioral health problems. Your Mercy behavioral health provider will determine which assessments are right for your child.

Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy

If your child is battling depression, anxiety, addiction or other mental health problems, it can be heart-wrenching. Mercy's Child & Adolescent Psychiatry experts can help. We’ll evaluate your child, analyze your family's dynamics and develop a personalized treatment plan with support every step of the way.

Therapy is effective at helping kids manage their mental health conditions. Mercy offers inpatient care, outpatient day programs, therapy services (individual, group, family and play), outpatient services and educational programs. While not all services are available in all locations, your Mercy provider will connect you with the best possible treatment resources. 

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