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Children's Mental Health Care

In the only inpatient mental health program for children ages five to 12 in Northern Virginia, Dominion Hospital staff members are specially trained to identify and treat children’s psychiatric issues.

Your Best Choice for Children’s Mental Health Care

When your child needs help for emotional, behavioral or mental health issues, our children’s program is your best choice for care close to home. We specialize in effective intervention to stabilize crisis situations, which may include self-injurious behaviors. Our multispecialty team approach leads to successful outcomes.

We work with families—key factors in successful treatment—to help everyone understand the diagnosis and develop an individual plan tailored specifically to manage your child’s care in the least restrictive environment possible. Program components include:

  • Psychoeducation – Provides information about causes and effects of the particular mental illness to expand understanding of the condition, reduce feelings of helplessness and increase opportunities for better self-care
  • Play therapy – Employs the therapeutic use of play—objects, patterns, interactions—to help children express feelings and experiences in a natural, healing process guided by the child
  • Expressive therapy groups – Incorporate art, dance/movement, music and recreation activities to help address key emotional, behavioral or mental health issues that may not be accessible through words
  • Child psychopharmacology – Uses medication to assist in treatment, when appropriate

Multiple Levels of Care to Meet Individual Needs

Our highly structured programs—both inpatient and partial—feature psychological and expressive therapy groups, family meetings and education services. Supportive peer group communities promote personal growth and understanding.

Inpatient Program

When round-the-clock monitoring is needed, our pediatric inpatient program offers 24-hour nursing care and full psychiatric services in a safe and structured environment. Medical supervision by highly qualified mental health professionals, including physicians who are all fellowship-trained in child psychiatry, means children receive appropriate individual assessment, intervention, education, supportive therapies and discharge planning.

Partial Program

Dominion Hospital’s Partial Hospitalization Program for children combines a highly structured environment at the hospital each day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the opportunity for your child to spend evenings at home. Suitable for children who need assessment to identify and treat issues beyond the scope of outpatient services, our Partial Program offers a productive mix of personalized treatment, supportive therapies and individual development.

How You Benefit

Our experienced clinicians excel in identifying symptoms, creating comprehensive treatment plans and providing effective clinical care. We match the level of care to the individual level of need. Mental health services for your child at Dominion Hospital include:

  • Physicians – Work with you and your child to assess the need for medication and decide when your child is stable enough to move to the next level of care
  • Nursing staff – Monitor inpatient children for safety 24 hours a day, educating them and encouraging their progress; Partial Program children also work with nursing staff and are monitored during their time at Dominion
  • Social work staff – Meet with you and your family to identify issues and stressors and set up a plan to maintain safety and continue therapy after discharge
  • Expressive therapists – Introduce a variety of complementary therapy techniques—including art, dance/movement, music and recreation activities—to help your child find alternative forms of expression and communication
  • Educators – Teach and monitor children in our dedicated classrooms and, with parental permission, coordinate efforts with local student services to implement changes that may need to happen before your child returns to school

Learn more about school refusal as a potential symptom of deeper mental health issues in children.

Review a range of mental health topics and special information about children’s health issues in our online Health Library.