Award-Winning, Family-Friendly Hospital Care for Children and Teens
Our teams understand young children and are experts in providing short-term hospital care for acute mental health needs. Our goal is to help patients and families understand and manage issues such as PTSD, ADHD, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, substance abuse, and disruptive disorders.
We assess children to understand their needs and to provide short-term treatment and aftercare planning. Our care teams work from a strength-based model to identify and build on each child's strengths and talents, and not just focus on problems. We see parents and guardians as our partners in care, and we may use individual, group, family, and recreational therapy as part of the treatment program.
Child Assessment Unit (CAU)
The Child Assessment Unit is an award-winning facility that helps children aged 3-12 who are in acute emotional or behavioral distress.
Since 2002, the CAU has used an Open Arms approach to working with children. This approach, based on the Collaborative Problem Solving model, creates an environment that is seen as 'safe' by both patients and providers, and focuses on setting limits and managing behaviors rather than punishing children. The guiding philosophy of Collaborative Problem Solving is that "children do well if they can."
Using this model, we approach difficult behavior as we would a learning disability. Rather than reward and punish children for their behaviors, we work to help them handle frustration and help them adapt to their changing environment. As a result of this effort, the CAU has become a nurturing, restraint-free, and seclusion-free environment that provides open visiting hours for families. We have won several national awards for this work, but the true rewards come every day when we help our patients and their families.
Adolescent Assessment Unit (AAU)
The Adolescent Assessment Unit helps teenagers ages 12-19 who are in acute emotional or behavioral distress. As of June 2009, it is also located at the CHA Cambridge hospital campus. This new unit has been completely renovated to allow us to provide care in the most appropriate manner. Similar to our sister facility, the AAU staff works to create an environment that is seen as 'safe' by both patients and providers.