Disruptive Behavior Crisis Clinic
What is the Disruptive Behavior Crisis Clinic?
The Disruptive Behavior Crisis Clinic offers care when a child is having a mental health crisis related to behavioral issues. We serve families who have been in or are at risk of coming to the emergency department or think they need immediate 911 intervention.
We will support your family by seeing you (the child’s parents or caregivers) for 4 visits, 1 day a week. For some families, these visits may help avoid the need for a hospital stay.
We accept referrals from Seattle Children’s providers, emergency department providers, primary care providers, mental health providers and school healthcare providers.
Who can the clinic help?
We help parents and caregivers of children and adolescents ages 5 to 12 who are having a mental health crisis related to a behavioral issue. Signs that your child is in crisis include:
- Being physically aggressive
- Destroying property
- Running away from home
- Talking about hurting themselves or wanting to harm others
Is your child having a behavioral health emergency?
Signs of an emergency:
- Your child is at immediate risk for self-harm.
- Your child is a danger to others.
- Your child cannot take part in safety planning to avoid self-harm.
- Your child cannot care for themselves.
- You are concerned that you cannot keep your child safe until they have an appointment.
If your child or family needs help right away, go to your nearest emergency room or call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 to be connected to a mental health crisis responder (24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States).
If you need urgent medical help (such as for an overdose) or are in immediate danger, call 911. See specific language you can use (PDF) to help lessen the risk of bias and harm when calling 911. (Also available in Amharic, Arabic, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.)
Children with complex mental health issues may need to stay in the hospital at times. When other options are not enough to keep them safe, we treat children in our Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit.
How will this clinic help my family?
We aim to provide quick access to 1-on-1 visits for caregivers for parent behavior management training (PBMT). We offer 4 visits held 1 day a week. During the visits, we will:
- Work with you to create a plan to decrease your child’s aggressive or unsafe behavior
- Discuss treatment needs with your child’s current therapist if they have one
- Partner with a case manager to connect you to follow-up care in your community
Our goals are to provide support when you most need it and help stabilize your child and family.
We help transition your family to another ongoing PBMT program after your 4 visits with us so you can build on the skills you learned through our clinic.
If your child is not in crisis but you need help finding mental health providers in your local area who fit your child’s needs, contact Washington’s Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens.
To get started, your child needs a referral.
- If you would like to place a referral, talk to your child’s Primary Care Providers.
- Seattle Children’s providers may complete an internal referral.
If we do not have an opening within 1 week, we will contact the referring provider. At this time, we have limited capacity and do not keep a waitlist. This approach helps us remain more available for urgent needs as they come up.
Who’s on the team?
The team is led by a psychologist and also includes mental health therapists, mental health therapist associates and a family advocate/case manager. You may also work with a psychiatric nurse practitioner and psychiatry or psychology trainees.
The Disruptive Behavior Crisis Clinic is part of Seattle Children’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine.
- Getting Help in a Mental Health Crisis (PDF) (Amharic) (Arabic) (Russian) (Simplified Chinese) (Somali) (Spanish) (Ukrainian) (Vietnamese)
- Communicating With Providers: Tips on Describing Behavior
- Washington’s Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens
- More resources for mental health
Please note that this is not a crisis line. If your child needs help right away, go to your nearest emergency room or call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States). If you need urgent medical help (such as for an overdose) or are in immediate danger, call 911. See specific language you can use (PDF) to help lessen the potential risk of bias and harm when calling 911. (Also available in Amharic, Arabic, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.)
Seattle Children’s providers may complete an internal referral.
Providers: For noncrisis cases, our Partnership Access Line (PAL) consultants are available to discuss best practices for treatment and support on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Have insurance questions?
Some insurance plans have Seattle Children’s as an in-network provider for medical services but an out-of-network provider for mental health services.
Even if your plan offers an out-of-network benefit, we are not accepting new patients for our mental health services if their insurance does not include Seattle Children’s as an in-network provider.
Learn about mental health insurance coverage at Seattle Children’s.
Paying for Care
- Call your insurance plan to check your benefits or ask about your deductible or co-pays. Read about insurance and mental health coverage at Seattle Children’s.
- Learn more about paying for care at Seattle Children’s, such as billing and financial assistance.
In a crisis?
If you, your child, family or friend needs help right away, call or text 988. Chat is another option. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources. The Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.