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Inpatient Psychiatric Unit


Children with complex mental health problems may need to stay in the hospital at times. When this happens, we have an Inpatient Psychiatric Unit (IPU) with 20 beds where we treat children from ages 3 to 18.

Services We Offer

Our focus in the IPU is to give your child short-term care during a mental health crisis. From the time your child comes into the hospital, we follow a set of steps (clinical pathway) based on your child’s diagnosis. The steps are designed to get your child’s behavior stable and to teach your child and family skills that can help after your child leaves the hospital. These skills can help you and your child cope and help you prevent crises in the future. 

While in the IPU, your child will meet regularly with a variety of providers (such as doctors, therapists and childhood mental health specialists) and participate in groups with other children throughout the day. In general, the IPU is a unique psychiatric setting focused on providing safe, evidence-informed care. Our behavioral management philosophy is seclusion and restraint-free, meaning that we do not use "hands-on" interventions.

We also make plans with you to get any ongoing care your child will need when they leave here.

You play an important role in helping your child succeed back at home, in school and in your community. So we want you to take part in all aspects of your child’s care in the IPU, like education sessions and family evaluations. Your child’s care team will talk with you about any services that may be helpful. We invite you to tell us things that will help us know and care for your child.

When your child is ready to leave Children’s, the IPU team provides support for your child and family to make the return as easy as possible. We also follow up later to ensure the plans made in the hospital are being carried out.

IPU Team

To take complete care of your child, we have people on our team from many areas of healthcare, including dietitians, educators, nurses, occupational therapists, childhood mental health specialists, doctors, psychologists, social workers and speech and language specialists.


Trigger cards


Contact Us


206-987-2055 (Inpatient Psychiatric Unit)

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