What happens if my child is hospitalized?

  1. The emergency service provider who determined that the child is in need of hospital level care must find a hospital placement or a “bed.” Your insurance will determine which hospitals can be contacted to determine if there is a “bed” available. You can request a specific hospital, but space must be available.
  2. Your child should be transported directly by ambulance to that hospital. You can ride with them or go separately.
  3. Once at the hospital, a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse will do an admission interview.  This interview should include documentation of current medications as well as reason for admission. The nursing staff will show the child the room and the hospital unit and explain the schedule and rules. You should accompany the child through this procedure and receive all this information before you leave including the visiting hours and communication process.
  4. You will be asked to sign the child into the hospital, give permission for emergency medical treatment including medication if needed, and give a list of contact restrictions for your child.
  5. Treatment assignment happens the morning after a child arrives. A psychiatrist and therapist/case manager are assigned. They should contact you immediately and meet with you as soon as possible. You can call the nursing station of the unit on which your child is placed to determine who is assigned and how to get in touch with them. Your child will also be assigned a nurse who is responsible for monitoring the medication and his daily experience on the unit.
  6. The hospital will have a daily schedule including group and individual meetings, meals, recreation, etc.  The hospital therapist/case manager should be in contact with those professionals outside of the hospital working with your child. The hospital psychiatrist should contact the doctor prescribing medication for your child. The hospital should hold several meetings during you child’s stay to address his progress and needs; one should be to plan for discharge. The average stay is about a week. 
  7. A discharge plan must include, at minimum, a timely scheduled appointment with a therapist and a psychiatrist if your child is being prescribed medication.  The hospital therapist/ case manager should also coordinate with your child’s school to create an appropriate reentry plan.
  8. The hospital case manager reviews your child progress regularly with your insurance company’s hospital utilization representative to determine the length of stay and the aftercare plan.  You can and should advocate with both the hospital staff and the insurance company if you believe your child requires more care than is being offered. 




Hurting yourself is NEVER
the right answer.
There are people who can help.

For immediate help call
911 or

Riverside Emergency Services

Newton Wellesley Hospital

To talk with someone call
Samariteen Hotline
1-800-252-TEEN (8336)

Samaritan Helpline
1-877-870-HOPE (4673)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Support and Help Around You