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Mental Health Conditions Among Hospitalized Children

Statement of Problem

Over the past decade, the prevalence of mental health diagnoses has been rising among children seeking short-term medical care for a serious condition. Mental health conditions, such as anxiety, ADHD and depression, affect at least one in 10 U.S. children hospitalized for a medical condition or surgical procedure.

Despite increasing recognition that mental health conditions are common among hospitalized children, hospitals report challenges ensuring adequate mental health resources for their patients. In addition, families and clinical teams aren’t always on the same page about caring for mental health conditions, which can lead to further complications in diagnosing and treating these conditions. Understanding the need for mental health resources and ensuring those resources are available for hospitalized children is critical to improving physical and mental health outcomes and the value of pediatric hospital care.


Next Steps

We will continue to build evidence for policies, programs and practices to improve patients’ outcomes by making mental health services available to children and adolescents in hospital settings.

This project page was last updated in September 2019.

Suggested Citation

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. Mental Health Conditions Among Hospitalized Children [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: plug in date accessed here]. 

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