PITTSBURGH — UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, in collaboration with UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, opened a pediatric behavioral health walk-in clinic where patients up to age 18 can be seen for a variety of behavioral health concerns.
UPMC Children’s Hospital Pediatric Behavioral Health Walk-In Clinic, located on the third floor of the main hospital, offers a welcoming and comfortable environment for children and teens with a mental health concern to get expert care.
Therapists and psychologists will be available to see patients for targeted behavioral health assessments from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Along with a parent or guardian, children and teens can walk in and receive same day care, with no appointment required to have a one-time therapeutic intervention and connect the patient to behavioral health resources.
“As the new school year begins, many children and teens can be stressed, anxious, or even struggling with their classes, which can cause parents to worry,” said Abigail Schlesinger, M.D., clinical chief of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Integrated Care at UPMC Western and UPMC Children’s. “We are here to help families through this and during any period of their child’s life. This clinic will offer support and partner with the child’s existing care team to continue providing safe resources at home and in the community.”
In addition to the walk-in clinic, UPMC Children’s supports behavioral health in a variety of ways including clinical evaluators in the emergency department where they assist the medical team in providing assessments and resources for patients and families. Also, the behavioral science division psychologists are embedded in the inpatient and outpatient settings, and a behavioral health nurse clinician works with inpatients.
“Improving access to behavioral health for our children and teens is a priority at UPMC Children’s as the numbers are steadily increasing for this age group seeking this type of support,” said Diane Hupp, president of UPMC Children’s Hospital. “We want this to be another way for families to seek care in a pediatric setting and allow children and teens to feel safe to talk about any concern they may have.”
The walk-in clinic does not replace Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) and is not appropriate for children who might need to be hospitalized. Individuals who are experiencing an extreme mental health crisis are encouraged to seek immediate medical attention at PES in UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital or at the nearest emergency department.