Inpatient Mental Health

Patients in a therapy session in our Inpatient Mental Health (Unit 1) program

The Child and Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health Program is a joint effort that unites the strengths of a premier mental health provider, McLean Hospital, with a nationally recognized leader in pediatric rehabilitation and special education, Franciscan Children’s. It is a place for hope and healing for children in psychiatric crisis, offering expert crisis stabilization, assessment, and inpatient mental health treatment in a safe and nurturing environment. The goal of the program is for each child and adolescent to successfully return to his or her home, school, and community.

About Our Program

Program Goals

The inpatient program provides prompt response to psychiatric emergencies with comprehensive assessment and treatment for children and adolescents. The program offers high-quality individualized psychiatric crisis care for youth, ages three through nineteen, of all developmental abilities and diagnostic categories. The focus of treatment involves restoration of safety, targeting high-risk behaviors, and most frequently, reduction of suicidal behaviors.

Program Philosophy

Multidisciplinary assessment and crisis intervention in the inpatient child and adolescent mental health program consists of expert diagnostic assessment, psychopharmacological treatment, and mobilization of the child’s family and support system. Treatment occurs within the context of a structured therapeutic program, based on a strength-based model of care.

The goal of our strength-based treatment program is to promote safety and a sense of hope and stability, while encouraging active child and family involvement in treatment within the inpatient unit, and in treatment that follows hospital discharge.

The therapeutic program introduces the youth involved to a range of techniques designed to assist in stabilizing children in crisis, reducing high risk symptoms, and beginning the acquisition of skills related to overcoming mental health crises. Program goals include rapid restoration of safety and successful continuation of treatment, and recovery outside the hospital setting.

The Treatment Experience

A child’s participation in the structured daily program is an important part of a comprehensive assessment. The daily schedule is designed to engage each child in a range of developmentally appropriate therapy, school, and daily living experiences. The structured activities help organize children in a time of crisis, provide opportunities to learn and practice important coping skills, and provide an assessment of each child’s response to different situations.


Resources for Teens and Parents

Our team has compiled nearly 100 valuable resources for teens and parents on topics from warning signs, facts and figures, depression, suicide and more. Explore them via our website here.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues. This technique cultivates non-judgmental attention on present moment body sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Optional classes are offered to patients on our inpatient program three times a week by a trained mindfulness teacher within our Pastoral Care department.

For more information, please download this Meditation download and practice with these MP3 guided meditations entitled ‘Body Scan’ and ‘Contact Points.’* Best wishes on your practice!

*please note the MP3 audio files can be downloaded for offline use by loading then saving them to your personal device.

Additional Contact Information

Ralph Buonopane, Ph.D.
Director, Child and Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health Program
(617) 254-3800, ext. 1689

To contact the 24-hour referral line for our inpatient psychiatric
program, please call (800) 333-0338.

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