Normal life looks a lot different these days, especially in healthcare. But there is one thing that hasn’t changed at Children’s Colorado: Your child’s health and safety are our highest priority. Kids need great pediatric care as much now as ever, and it’s for that reason that we’re reactivating services we temporarily suspended due to the pandemic. We are here to deliver safe, thoughtful, high-quality care for kids who need it. Learn what to expect – and all the ways we’re keeping patients safe.
If you're concerned that you or your child may have been exposed to COVID-19, please do NOT visit an emergency or urgent care location. Instead, call your doctor or our free ParentSmart Healthline at 720-777-0123 for guidance.
In life-threatening emergencies, find the emergency room location nearest you. For non-life-threatening medical needs when your pediatrician is unavailable, visit one of our urgent care locations.
“Our daughter knows that if she gets out of control, Children’s Colorado is a place of goodness. It’s a place of understanding. She knows that if anything ever went wrong, she could go to Children’s, be accepted and get back on track.” – Brenda Gaughan, Claire’s mom
About the Inpatient Psychiatry Unit
At the Inpatient Psychiatry Unit, our mission is to facilitate crisis resolution and stabilization. Our therapeutic approaches are integrative, including developmental, psychopharmacologic, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic and solution-focused techniques.
Children aged 3 to 12 years who require psychiatric hospitalization are treated on the Child Psychiatric Unit (CPU); adolescents aged 13 to 17 are treated on the Adolescent Psychiatric Unit (APU).
How does the Inpatient Psychiatry Unit work?
Each child and family is assigned to a treatment team that consists of a child psychiatrist or advanced practice nurse, and a social worker or psychologist. Additional staff includes psychiatric nurses, mental health counselors and creative arts therapists. Children and adolescents receive a thorough psychiatric evaluation, and the treatment teams meet daily to consult on each patient.
Family participation is a required component of the program. We place a significant focus on identifying and working with services in the community, including school and mental health services that can provide ongoing support and treatment for families after discharge.
Why choose Children's Hospital Colorado for treatment?
The Intensive Services Program provides a supportive, structured program, including individual and family therapy, group therapy, behavioral approaches, medication management and creative arts therapy. Our psychiatric practices are based on best evidence and evaluated against research on a regular basis.
Our multidisciplinary teams provide diagnostic assessment services and treatment to acutely distressed children and adolescents who have emotional, behavioral, or combined medical/psychiatric problems, and who benefit from assessment, inpatient stabilization and disposition recommendations.
Symptoms that prompt a referral to the Intensive Services Program include:
Affective distress (depression, anxiety and mania)
Behavioral difficulties (out-of-control anger)
Self harm (high-risk behaviors)
Our services emphasize acute stabilization of psychiatric and behavioral crisis. We offer a multidisciplinary approach to care that is family-based.
Admission to the Intensive Services Program is accessed through Children's Colorado's Emergency Department or the Children's Colorado Psychiatry Consult/Liaison Team. After the evaluation, the Emergency Department will inform the family and patient of their recommendation. Insurance authorization will also be obtained, if possible, prior to admission.
Lengths of stay vary from 3 to 10 days for inpatient treatment, based on individual patient needs and treatment plans.
Contact the Inpatient Psychiatry Unit
Please call us at 720-777-6200 or in the event of an emergency or life threatening situation, dial 911.
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Children's Hospital Colorado providers
Children’s Hospital Colorado providers are faculty members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Our specialists are nationally ranked and globally recognized for delivering the best possible care in pediatrics.
Some healthcare professionals listed on our website have medical privileges to practice at Children’s Hospital Colorado, but they are community providers. They schedule and bill separately for their services, and are not employees of the Hospital.