teen brain health patient hugs a therapy dog in the park

Behavioral and Mental Health

Behavioral and mental health is 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 committed to addressing the growing demand for services to manage these increasingly common concerns impacting children today. 

We face a mental health crisis
At least one in five children and adolescents in the U.S. have a behavioral or mental health condition. The number of kids visiting our emergency departments for behavioral and emotional crises has doubled since 2015. In 2022, Children’s saw more than 4,000 kids in crisis. The median age of these patients: 14 years old. The question we often hear is what is Children’s doing about mental health in kids? The answer is, “More and more.”

Children’s is positioned 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 want to make Georgia a national leader in behavioral and mental healthcare. The ultimate goal of our Behavioral and Mental Health Program is to ensure that kids have access to a full continuum of care to mitigate risk and support mind, brain and behavioral development throughout childhood. Through a holistic, family-centered approach to care, Children’s is striving to lower the rates of depression and anxiety and working to make more of our kids resilient enough to handle life’s ups and downs. Having a space dedicated to providing pediatric behavioral and mental health services, as well as onboarding leaders in the field, will get us closer to achieving these goals.

Transforming Access: Children’s Zalik Behavioral and Mental Health Center
David and Helen Zalik donated nearly 10 acres of land to create the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Zalik Behavioral and Mental Health Center. The Zalik Center will be dedicated entirely to pediatric behavioral and mental health. It will serve as a central location for Children’s providers and community partners to come together to deliver evidence-based care to kids throughout Georgia, and it will allow us to advance a statewide ecosystem for the support and protection of kids’ healthy mind and brain development. Within the Zalik Center, skilled providers will focus on prevention, early intervention and mental health services across a continuum of care. We have plans for a comprehensive outpatient treatment program to foster meaningful collaboration with community partners, as well as space for research, training and family education.

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.