Mental health disorders can show up differently in children than in adults. It can affect the way your child behaves at home, at school, and socially. To help your child, it’s important that we explore and understand the causes of the behaviors and the impact of those behaviors on their academic, emotional, physical, and social functioning. Children can also experience intense feelings and emotions, such as sadness or loss, that also may warrant intervention to get them back on track with their development. Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at WVU Medicine Children’s, a department within the WVU Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, focuses on treating the whole child, including mental and physical health.
Behavioral and emotional concerns can be linked with many other issues, including neurological disorders, past trauma, anxiety, depression, learning problems, developmental delays, substance use, and environmental factors. We offer health and healing for West Virginia children and families by providing a safe and compassionate environment.
Conditions We Treat
Our psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, neuropsychologists, and case workers treat all mental health disorders in kids. These include, but are not limited to:
- Adjustment disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Attachment disorders
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other disorders of impulse control
- Autism, developmental delays and neuropsychiatric syndromes
- Disruptive mood dysregulation disorders
- Eating disorders
- Functional neurological Syndromes
- Grief and loss
- Learning disorders
- Mood (bipolar and depressive) disorders
- Oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder (ODD and CD)
- Pediatric substance use disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Mental and emotional distress can also cause physical conditions, including:
- Abdominal Pain and gastrointestinal distress
- Autonomic Dysregulation
- Chronic pain
- Immunological Conditions
- Metabolic disorders
Acute psychiatric adolescent unit
We provide crisis care for children and adolescents at WVU Medicine’s Chestnut Ridge Center. We offer inpatient stabilization through psychiatric hospitalization for young people (ages 13 to 17) with suicidal ideations, psychotic symptoms, and other types of severe distress. Our inpatient psychiatric adolescent unit services include crisis stabilization, medication management, psychotherapy, family therapy, recreational therapy, and case management. Typical stays are five to seven days.
Inpatient consultation services
Inpatient consultation services to WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital are for children and adolescents with acute psychiatric concerns who have been admitted to inpatient care at WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital or the emergency department. We assess the level of care your child needs and provide recommendation for medication and psychotherapy services to meet those needs, helping triage patients to an appropriate level of psychiatric care. Patients admitted to WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital also have access to hospital-based pediatric psychology and therapy services during their medical hospitalization.
Outpatient specialty clinics
We’ve assembled a variety of outpatient specialty clinics focused on the unique needs of children and adolescents. Our services include individual, family, and group counseling. We treat issues like substance abuse, eating disorders, and post-traumatic syndromes, among others.
Our outpatient clinics provide the following services:
- Pediatric mental health case management
- Pediatric mental health specialty clinics
- Psychiatric assessments
- Pshychotherapy services (with individual, family, and group therapy options)
Our specialty clinics focused on the unique needs of children and adolescents include:
Resiliency After Complex Trauma (ReACT) clinic
We offer care for young people recovering from complex trauma. Our ReACT Clinic provides psychiatry and counseling services. Our services provide care for these children as well as different supportive interventions for their legal guardians.
ReACT services and therapies include:
- Attachment, Self-regulation, and Competency (ARC)
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
- Parent-child interactive therapy
- Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy
- Trust-based relational intervention
Our ReACT clinic is located at our Healthy Minds - Research Ridge office in Morgantown.
Pediatric Referral for Evaluation of the Essential Needs of Teens (PREVENT) clinic
Our multi-disciplinary PREVENT Clinic focuses on the needs of adolescents with substance abuse issues. Whether a teen has just begun using substances or is struggling with more advanced levels of addiction, we help them understand the thoughts and behaviors that lead them to drug or alcohol use. Our team offers individual, family, and peer-group counseling.
PREVENT services include:
- Comprehensive psychiatric evaluations
- Drug testing
- Family therapy
- Individual psychotherapy
- Medication therapy for other mental health conditions
- Medication-supported recovery for tobacco, alcohol, and opiate dependence, if indicated
- Motivational interviewing
- Parent guidance and supportive therapy
- Substance use and behavioral risk assessments/screenings
Our PREVENT clinic is located at Chestnut Ridge Center in Morgantown.
Eating Disorder Interdisciplinary Treatment (EDIT) clinic
The Eating Disorder Interdisciplinary Treatment clinic helps children and adolescents dealing with eating disorders. EDIT’s multi-disciplinary treatment team includes psychiatrists, dietitians, pediatricians, and therapists specializing in adolescent medicine. We use cognitive behavior therapy and family counseling throughout the recovery process.
Those who will benefit from the EDIT clinic include those with:
Issues around eating
- Not eating, or eating very little
- Eating large amounts of food
- Guilt or shame around eating
- Loss of control around food
- Secretive eating
- Excessive and/or rigid exercise routines
- Fears of getting fat
- Low body weight
- Misuse of certain medications (laxatives, diuretics, or diet pills)
- Rigid rules around eating
- Vomiting following meals
Our EDIT clinic is located at our Healthy Minds - Research Ridge office in Morgantown.
Early childhood and parent-child interaction therapy clinics
The Early childhood clinic combines clinical services with community resources to evaluate and treat young children. This clinic serves children ages birth to five years, as well as their families experiencing difficult or disruptive behaviors.
Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) works with families who have children exhibiting behavioral challenges. The program is a structured, evidence-based approach to assist in navigating issues of noncompliance, aggression, tantrums, and oppositional behaviors. The PCIT lab works with children between the ages of two and seven years old along with their families. PCIT is conducted through “coaching” sessions during which the parent and the child are in a playroom while the provider is in an observation room watching them interact through a one-way mirror and/or live video feed.
Early childhood and PCIT services are available at Chestnut Ridge Center in Morgantown.
Children’s Neurodevelopmental Center
We provide services for children who have growth and development disabilities of the brain and central nervous system. We treat balance and movement disorders, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, demyelinating disorders, and others. Learn more about the WVU Medicine Children’s Neurodevelopmental Center.
Pediatric nephrology clinic
We work closely with the pediatric nephrology team to meet the needs of children with chronic kidney disorders. Our psychologists help patients and their families with stress management and coping skills. We also provide emotional and psychological support before and after transplant surgeries.
If you would like to schedule an appointment for outpatient care for your child or teen, please call 304-598-4214. We also offer consultation and support services for community providers.
Rural telepsychiatry clinics
We’re committed to helping patients and providers throughout West Virginia get access to psychiatric services. Our telepsychiatry program serves remote areas of the state, including:
- Calhoun County
- Kanawha County
- Mingo County
- Roane County
- Wyoming County
Healthcare providers can call 304-598-4214 for more information about telepsychiatry services.