teen brain health patient hugs a therapy dog in the park

Behavioral and Mental Health

Behavioral and mental health is rapidly becoming one of the most pressing pediatric health issues in our country. We're here to care for the whole child.

There is no health without behavioral and mental health.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is accepting the challenge to help parents confront this issue head on. 

We face a mental health crisis
While it’s not known why behavioral and mental health concerns are increasing in incidence, what is known and felt very personally by millions of children, caregivers, teachers and pediatricians is that at least one in five children and adolescents in the U.S. have a behavioral or mental health condition. The leading conditions affecting children are ADD/ADHD, developmental delay, anxietydepression and autism. Left untreated, these conditions limit the potential of our children, and may even result in untimely death by suicide. Indeed, in 2018, 63 kids under the age of 18 committed suicide in Georgia, up from 30 deaths five years earlier. The question we often hear is what is Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta doing about mental health in kids? The answer is, “More and more.”

Children’s is in a position to help address this crisis
Children’s has a strong track record of championing every aspect of a child’s health and well-being, and of working with the community to enact change. We are committed to being a leader and a partner in building a pediatric behavioral and mental health system of care that improves outcomes, reduces stigma, and enhances access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment. It starts with a plan to help the 1.5 million children in the metropolitan Atlanta area flourish and thrive regardless of their circumstance. The impact of the plan will ultimately have a positive effect on the overall mental health of children across the state. If we can do this, we will reduce the rates of depression and anxiety, and the number of suicides, in children and adolescents, and ultimately increase the number of children who are resilient despite any number of life's potential hurdles. 

Our plan is innovative and transformative
We are trying to transform the state of pediatric behavioral and mental health. It’s a lofty goal. But it’s one we can reach if we break it down into smaller focus areas while we work toward the larger goal. Each of the four focus areas work alongside the others, and when implemented together will have the biggest impact on delivering outcomes for our children. With your support, we will:

  • Innovate behavioral and mental health care by leveraging our unique capabilities and expertise learned through our long-standing history in research and innovation, including at Marcus Autism Center and in clinical care delivery
  • Transform access through locally delivered care that meets kids where they are and is delivered in environments where parents are receptive to learning about behavioral and mental health needs
  • Pioneer prevention by leveraging our successful Strong4Life model so we can build a future where our children flourish
  • Build a strong foundation by hiring leadership, collecting data and outcomes, and working for policy and payment changes locally and nationally to confront the many structural challenges that threaten the sustainability of behavioral and mental healthcare delivery.

It’s imperative that we address this need head-on, but in order to achieve what we’re setting out to do, we need your help.

Support Young Minds

Help us fill a glaring healthcare need for Georgia’s children.

Pediatric cancer patient waiting on chemotherapy

The Need is Great

Georgia’s kids depend on Children’s. In order to deliver care that never settles, we need your support.