Bellevue Opens New Child/Adolescent Psych Unit

Bellevue Hospital Opens New Inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit

October 30, 2013


(New York, NY) Bellevue Hospital Center, a member of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), today announced the opening of a new, 15-bed inpatient psychiatric unit for adolescents that expands the inpatient capacity and enables the hospital to address the growing need for inpatient mental health services for children and adolescents.


Bellevue currently operates 30 child and adolescent inpatient psychiatry beds, serving more than 400 young people annually. The $2.2 million project brings the total number of inpatient beds for children and adolescents to 45 beds and brings the total square footage of the children and adolescent inpatient psychiatric services to 4,500 square feet. The secure unit has been designed to provide an optimal environment for the treatment of psychiatric crises, including depression, suicidal or aggressive behavior, psychosis and serious family conflicts. Bellevue Hospital leadership today held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the new unit, which will be fully operational for patients in November.


“The opening of this unit couldn’t be more timely,” said Dr. Jennifer Havens, Director and Chief of Service of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. “Over the last three years we have lost over 100 inpatient psych beds for kids in New York City. This new unit will allow us to serve another 200 to 250 teens annually.”


Bellevue Hospital has been a pioneer in the field of child mental health for 90 years, opening the first children’s psychiatric inpatient service in 1923 and the world’s first adolescent psychiatric inpatient unit in 1937.


“For 90 years, Bellevue has been a leader in psychiatric services for children and this unit continues that history,” said Steven Alexander, Executive Director of Bellevue Hospital Center. “We are providing high quality, professional and compassionate care for children and adolescents in crisis, with the goal of making a difference in the course of their lives.”


Bellevue Hospital’s mental health services for children and adolescents include:

  • The only Children’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CCPEP) in New York State, which provides up to 72 hours of evaluation and intervention of the child or adolescent, reducing the need for inpatient admissions.
  • Inpatient and outpatient mental health services for children and adolescents.
  • Day treatment for children and adolescents.
  • On-site New York City Department of Education school for inpatient and outpatient children and adolescents.


In recent years, Bellevue has experienced a steady increase in the number of children and adolescents coming to the emergency room in psychiatric crisis for reasons associated with a number of factors: society’s growing awareness of children’s mental health issues; the crisis of teen suicide; and increased referrals from schools that have implemented psychiatric assessment protocols to prevent school violence.


The expansion of the inpatient service was funded through a New York State Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law (HEAL) grant.