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Emergency mental health care

When a child or teen needs emergency mental health care, Children's is here to help. While Children's provides emergency mental health care, we are not a psychiatric treatment facility that provides inpatient mental health treatment. We will talk with you about what emergency treatments are best to keep your child, you, other patients, and staff safe.

What happens if my child is in the hospital?

At Children's, staff treat and stabilize children in mental health crisis, and care for any medical needs they may have. Once that is taken care of, a transfer to a psychiatric treatment facility will be arranged if your child cannot be cared for at home. While we will try to find a facility that is close to your hometown, this may not always be possible.

Because Children's is an acute care hospital and not a psychiatric hospital, staff will take special precautions to keep your child safe.

  1. Your child will not be alone, even for a moment. A staff member will be with your child at all times, including trips to the bathroom. Same-gender staff can accompany your child if needed.
  2. Your child will need to stay in a special room (see the education sheet, "Safe room care").
  3. Visitors may be restricted at times.
  4. If patients are at risk for hurting themselves or others, we may need to use emergency treatments:
    • calming medicines
    • physical restraints
    • security personnel


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to the doctor, nurse, or social worker.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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