Behavioral Health Services

Mental-health, substance-abuse help for teens and children

If your child is in crisis, call 911. If you need information about an emergency situation call 612-672-6600. If your child or teen has a mental-health or substance abuse issue, don't blame yourself. Seek appropriate help.


For children ages 12 and younger, and teens through age 18

Emergency services
Any person (any age) who requires behavioral emergency care will be seen 24/7 at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, West Bank Emergency Department. Services include assessment and referral for anyone having a mental health and/or substance abuse crisis.
In crisis, call 911
For information, call 612-672-6600
Map and directions

Offering help hope and healing
At University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital, we have one of the largest inpatient mental-health and substance abuse programs for children and teens in the nation. For more than 10 years we have worked with children and teens who have a combination of mental health and substance abuse issues. Our dual diagnosis program was developed specifically to create treatment plans that address the links between mental health and chemical dependency. We offer short-term crisis care to stabilize your child’s mental or emotional condition. We will design a treatment plan for a child or teen based on a needs assessment and medical history. Working with children and adolescents is our sole focus.

The Behavioral Health Services staff has credentials, certification and/or licenses  to work with children who have a a full range of mental-health and chemical-dependency issues. The staff collaborates with University of Minnesota Physicians and with Behavioral Healthcare Providers (BHP). Together they provide a large network of psychologists, therapists, counselors and psychiatrists. Depending on will be of most benefit to your child's success, services may be provided in the hospital, or at a clinic closer to home. Our support staff includes nurses, clinical supervisors, chemical-dependency counselors, special-education teachers, recreational therapists, chaplains, family therapists and cultural liaisons.

Children's day therapy and partial-hospitalization programs provide care and treatment to children ages 4 to 12. Adolescent programs offer services to teens between 13 and 18 years old.

We provide specialty care 
  • Mental health
    • Anxiety
    • Behavioral or adjustment difficulties
    • Depression
    • Learning or coping disorders
    • Psychotic disorders
    • Schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse / chemical dependency
  • Dual diagnosis of mental health issue and chemical dependency

Meet our care team

Child/Adolescent Psychiatry

Our Providers Make the Difference
Fairview features nearly 4,000 providers practicing at over 200 locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. Fairview Clinics, University of Minnesota Physicians and our independent partner clinics provide an exceptional care experience, while lowering the overall costs of health care.

Meet Anna*

Anna*, age 10, was having behavioral problems at school, being violent at home and experiencing extreme anxiety and depression. Her parents had tried many options — multiple therapists, psychiatrists, special education, out-of-home placements — and nothing had worked.

“At this point, her parents were exhausted and desperate. They felt their lives were out of control, and that they had failed as parents,” says Christy Zabel, child/adolescent psychotherapist at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

With Anna now suicidal, her parents brought her to our in-patient unit. Once stabilized, she entered the Children’s Day Therapy Program, one of the only programs in Minnesota dedicated to patients 12 and younger. In this program, children spend full days in the hospital unit and return to their families at night.

Anna's individualized treatment plan included art and music, and mindfulness programs such as yoga, meditation and deep-breathing exercises. She also attended school in the unit for two hours each day. To deal with her anxiety and not bottle her concerns inside, Anna learned to list her worries in her own record called a “Worry Book.” Occupational therapists worked with Anna on her sensory overload — when overwhelmed, she would overheat. The therapists taught her to use ice packs to cool down. Anna learned to sit in a swing because the rocking motion would calm her.

We include the whole family in the assessment and treatment. Anna’s parents attended family sessions once a week. “Anna’s parents were very committed to implementing the parenting strategies we taught them, as well as what Anna was learning. Their involvement was crucial to her success,” says Zabel.

When Anna left the Children's Day Therapy Program, she moved to a community-based therapy program to continue her work. She regularly checks in with Zabel and continues to make progress. “Anna made tremendous progress in our program. When she left, her violent outbursts had completely dissipated,” says Zabel. “She now has the coping strategies she needs to avoid the behaviors that were common before she participated in our program.”

*Name has been changed
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