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Helping Your Child During a Mental Health Crisis

Children’s Mercy provides consultative mental health services to children, adolescents, and their families who visit the Emergency Room in crisis.

We provide the following services:

  • Mental health assessment by a licensed, master’s-level mental health provider
  • Crisis intervention
  • Acute stabilization
  • Safety planning

Is your child in crisis?

If your child is at immediate risk for self-harm or is a danger to others, call 911 or the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

If your child requires an urgent mental health assessment, call or text 988. Experienced mental health clinicians are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide clinical guidance and direct you to appropriate resources. This may include your local mobile crisis unit, who could come to your home to perform a mental health assessment, if appropriate. This may help you to avoid waiting in an emergency room. The 988 Help Line clinicians can also determine the most appropriate type of care for your child, help with referrals, and guide you through the next steps in the process. 

What to Expect in the Emergency Room

If your child comes to the Emergency Room at Children's Mercy due to an imminent safety concern, they will first receive a medical assessment by the Emergency Room medical team. Then, your family will usually meet with a member of the Acute Mental Health Screening team for a mental health assessment and treatment recommendations. This may include a recommendation for inpatient psychiatric hospitalization or referral to outpatient services within the community. Our trained mental health providers can help your family find the most appropriate treatment to meet your child’s needs.

Mental Health Toolkit

For more information and resources to help children and teens with mental health needs, access our Mental Health Toolkit.