Inpatient Mental Health Care for Children and Teens

Helping youth in crisis uncover a sense of solace and security

What is inpatient mental health care for children?

We provide treatment to youth struggling with severe acute mental health issues and may pose a threat to themselves or others. The focus of treatment is to address the crisis or behaviors which led up to the hospitalization. Attention is given to diagnosis, assessment and the selection of treatment interventions that will help to effectively stabilize the individual’s behavior or condition quickly.

Who is a candidate?

Children and teens requiring these services often face substantial challenges in functioning within their homes, schools or communities. They may be at a heightened risk of self-harm or harm to others. These youth may struggle to maintain regular routines or meet expectations due to symptoms such as depression, anxiety or other related conditions.

If you are interested in learning more about this treatment and whether it is right for you or your family, please contact your doctor directly.

What to expect with inpatient mental health care

Before treatment

  • Your child will receive a psychiatric evaluation, nursing assessment, medical history, physical assessment, social history and educational evaluation.
  • A caseworker will be assigned to work with your family throughout your child's stay and to develop a discharge plan.
  • A primary therapist will be assigned to provide individual and family interventions as needed.

During treatment

  • A child and teen psychiatrist will see your daily.
  • Registered nurses will provide 24-hour supervision of care to make sure our quality and safety standards are met.
  • Activities therapy staff design and lead a variety of group sessions and activities. These could include:
    • individual therapy
    • family therapy
    • group therapy
    • social skills training
    • goal-setting group
    • coping skills group
    • expressive therapy
    • recreational therapy
    • educational therapy
    • adventure challenge therapy (teens)
    • spiritual issues group (teens)

After treatment

The goal of this treatment is to come up with a plan that’ll help your child or teen become stable and function in a healthier way after leaving the hospital. Family members may be involved in decisions about treatment and aftercare planning. Your child's treatment team will develop a discharge plan that identifies professional and natural support.

Benefits of inpatient mental health care

If your child or teen is struggling with mental health issues and needs more support than out-patient care can provide, there’s help available. Inpatient mental healthcare can provide the support and treatment your child needs to get back on their feet. Here are some of the benefits of inpatient mental healthcare:

  • Quickly stabilize acute mental health symptoms, such as severe anxiety, depression or hallucinations. This can help prevent further crises and allow the child or teen to focus on treatment.
  • The development of coping skills can help children and teens manage their mental health symptoms. These skills can help them reduce stress, manage their emotions and resolve conflicts in a healthy way.
  • Get support for your family and an understanding of how to provide support for your child.

Convenient programming

Our youth IOC programs offer up to six hours of day hospital programming in Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

Family-centered approach

We understand the importance of family involvement in a child's success. Our program schedule includes weekly family therapy sessions as well as daily communication between counselors and parents.


We believe that every child deserves the chance to get the help they need. Our program is designed to help nearly everyone referred to us, regardless of their background or circumstances.