Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

For almost 60 years the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Lurie Children’s has provided psychiatric and psychological services to families and their children of all ages, from every social and economic background. Our services are in great demand. Each year, our specialists provide mental health evaluation and care in more than 22,000 outpatient visits, 490 inpatient psychiatric admissions, 254 children served in the Partial Hospitalization Program, and 500 consultations each in the emergency department and the hospital inpatient pediatric and surgical services.

Lurie Children’s is staffed and equipped to manage the complex care of children with concurrent medical and psychiatric treatment needs. Our specialists help many young patients overcome depression, anxiety and other psychological or behavioral concerns related to their serious medical illness, as well as those children with primary mental health issues.

Our services and programs include:


Our multidisciplinary team includes:

  • Child and adolescent psychiatrists (MD or DO)
  • Child psychologists (PhD)
  • Advanced practice nurses (APN)
  • Psychiatric social workers (LCSW)
  • Pediatric nurses
  • Milieu therapists
  • Recreational therapists
  • Speech and language pathologist
  • Special education teachers (Inpatient and Partial Hospitalization)

The head of the department, Mina K. Dulcan, MD, is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist and is the Margaret C. Osterman Professor of Child Psychiatry at Lurie Children’s. She also is Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Dulcan has more than 30 years of experience in her field and is an expert on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She is the author and editor of many books and chapters on child and adolescent psychiatry.


We believe in family-centered care. Research shows that family involvement is key to a child’s healing process. Through our family therapy sessions and parent education, you will gain support and training to more effectively care for and interact with your child. We also offer several outpatient treatment groups for children and families, as well as a program that helps older teens transition from pediatric to adult care.

Each of our mental health professionals brings dedication and specialized expertise to the individualized care that every patient receives. For hospitalized patients and those in the day program (Partial Hospitalization Program), our team members meet frequently to discuss each child’s progress and refine treatment goals and after-care planning.

When appropriate, the department offers diagnostic tests such as developmental, psychological, neuropsychological, and speech and language evaluations.

Our specialists also conduct research that helps improve the detection and treatment of childhood mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Recent studies include:

  • Developmental aspects of oppositional defiant disorder and depression in young children
  • Psychological aspects of childhood asthma
  • Childhood obesity prevention and treatment
  • Cognitive and mental health effects of diseases in children, such as AIDS, lupus and sickle cell disease
  • Culturally tailored cognitive behavioral therapy for Latino youth with anxiety and depression
  • Emotional and behavioral aspects in children with seizures

In addition to patient care and research, we also train healthcare professionals to become mental health specialists. We are committed to helping decrease the national shortage of child and adolescent mental health providers.

Our Community-Linked Mental Health Services program works with Chicago Public Schools. Our expert staff teach a curriculum on social and emotional coping skills and help schools integrate behavioral health services into their efforts to help students, as well as training school professionals in how to address trauma in youth.


Our mental health specialists treat children and adolescents for a wide variety of mental health conditions. See a list of all of the conditions we treat.

Make an Appointment

If you’d like to request an appointment in one of our programs, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®).


Private contributions have helped the department expand the psychiatric social work services in the Kenneth & Anne Griffin Emergency Care Center, providing mental health consultations and crisis support to children and their families. Several endowments support faculty development and research. The Grant Healthcare Foundation endowment funds innovative services and clinical pilot projects. A new foundation grant will support developing mental health services for youth with gender identity-related problems. Generous individual donors support enhanced programing for patients on the inpatient and partial hospitalization programs.

Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at, call 312.227.7500 or make a gift today.

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