Child Development and Behavioral Health

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Children’s Acute Inpatient Psychiatric Unit

Children's of Mississippi offers the state's only pediatric hospital-based mental health treatment facility. We treat children with behavioral and/or emotional challenges that are not being successfully managed at home or school.

The inpatient unit admits patients with most behavioral and psychiatric issues including aggressive or compulsive behaviors, depression, anxiety, self-harm tendencies and developmental delays. Our program also cares for children who have other medical conditions in addition to emotional and behavioral problems.

As a part of the state's only pediatric hospital, when a child is admitted to the behavioral unit, all mental and physical needs are addressed on the unit.

Unlike most facilities, our 12-bed short-term unit is designed with private rooms especially for children ages 4-12. Multidisciplinary treatment teams include psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, specially-trained pediatric nurses, pediatric social works, certified special education teachers and occupational, physical and speech therapists.


The goal of each admission is to quickly stabilize the child. We accomplish this by tailoring a treatment plan for each child that includes:

  • A structured behavioral program.
  • Cognitive and behavioral assessment.
  • Medication assessment and ongoing management.
  • Family coordination to integrate family dynamics into treatment.
  • Parental education.
  • Discharge planning at admission to ease the transition back to the family, school and community.
  • Referrals for outpatient treatment following discharge.

Daily services

Upon admittance to the behavioral unit, each moment of the child’s day is scheduled to provide therapeutic and educational opportunities, including:

  • Individual therapy.
  • Goal-oriented group therapy.
  • Recreation group therapy.
  • Social work groups.
  • Hospital-based accredited school.
  • Art therapy.
  • Opportunities to earn multiple rewards and playtime.
  • Evening storytime.