Frequently Asked Questions

How can I arrange an evaluation for my child?
Our program offers outpatient evaluations to children and adolescents with a Newton-Wellesley Hospital affiliated primary care provider. To arrange an appointment, parents should request a referral from their child’s pediatrician or family practice physician. The referral form provides us with a brief description of the problem as well as contact information for the referring physician, which is essential to establishing a coordinated approach to care. Once the referral form has been received by our office, parents may call the office to arrange an appointment. The number for scheduling is 617-243-6490

What should I bring to my child’s first appointment?
In order to make the most of your first visit, it can be helpful to bring the following materials to the appointment:

  • Any medical or psychological records related to your child’s mental health condition, including reports from any previous psychological, neuropsychological or educational testing
  • A list of your child’s current medications (if any), as well as a list of any previous psychiatric medication trials
  • The names and contact information for any other providers involved in your child’s care, such as outpatient therapists, school psychologists or guidance counselors, or primary care providers
  • A list of questions you and your child have for the clinician
  • Your child’s insurance card(s) and subscriber number
What happens at my child's first evaluation?
The initial evaluation typically lasts one to one-and-a-half hours and includes gathering a detailed history about your child’s current symptoms, previous mental health treatment, early development, social and academic functioning, medical history, as well as relevant family medical and psychiatric history. Children and parents may be interviewed together and individually, depending on each individual situation.

Because initial sessions may be long in duration, it can be useful to bring along reading material or other activities for the waiting room, snacks or other necessary items. In some cases, the clinician may be able to make a preliminary diagnosis and suggest the next steps for treatment or further evaluation after the first visit. Often, however, the initial evaluation will be continued over more than one appointment to allow time for further assessment and gathering of additional information.

Do you offer psychotherapy?
We do not offer psychotherapy services at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. However, after an evaluation, we will generate recommendations based on our clinical impression and then work with parents to build the best treatment plan.  We can assist families in determining which psychotherapy services might be most effective for their child and refer families to clinicians in the area who can provide these services.

 What should I do if I feel my child is in psychiatric crisis?
If you feel that your child’s safety is in danger or your child is at risk to harm someone else, call 911 immediately. The emergency responders will assist you in seeking an urgent psychiatric evaluation in an emergency room setting. If you are able to transport your child safely, he/she may be brought to the Newton-Wellesley Hospital Emergency Department for a psychiatric evaluation. If your child is a patient in treatment with one of our clinicians, you may have your child’s provider paged through the Newton-Wellesley page operator at 617-243-5858.



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