Connecticut Children's, a pioneer in pediatric healthcare, is proud to announce the opening of a 12-bed Medical Psychiatric Integrated Care Unit, addressing the escalating need for comprehensive mental health services for children. This unit will support and treat children and adolescents with complex medical and psychiatric needs through trauma-informed care with state-of-the-art medical capability.

This significant expansion represents a crucial step forward in recognizing and treating the intricate connection between physical and mental well-being in children. With mental health challenges on the rise, this unit stands as a beacon of hope, reinforcing Connecticut Children's commitment to providing holistic care.

"At Connecticut Children's, our commitment to children's health goes beyond physical well-being. The opening of our new Medical Psychiatric Integrated Care Unit is a testament to our dedication to addressing the critical need for pediatric mental health services,” said Jim Shmerling, DHA, FACHE, President & CEO, Connecticut Children’s. “It is a milestone in our ongoing efforts to provide comprehensive, family-centered care that recognizes and meets the unique needs of every child."

This expansion has been made possible through collaborative efforts, including invaluable support from the state of Connecticut, as well as corporate and individual donors, showcasing a commendable example of public-private partnership in support of pediatric mental health.

According to recent findings release by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 15% of children in the United States were recently treated for mental health disorders in 2021 underscoring the urgency of this initiative. A separate study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that the percentage of doctor’s office visits for US children involving an anxiety disorder diagnosis significantly increased from 2006 through 2018. The 12-bed unit is a response to a growing demand for pediatric mental health care, addressing systemic gaps not just in Connecticut but across the nation.

"The opening of the 12-bed Medical Psychiatric Unit at Connecticut Children's is a significant and timely investment in the well-being of our youngest citizens,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “This expansion reflects our collective commitment to ensuring that children facing physical and mental health challenges receive the care and support they need. Connecticut Children's continues to be a vital partner in our mission to prioritize the health and future of our state's children."

While celebrating this achievement, Connecticut Children's recognizes the complexity of challenges faced by children and the shortage of pediatric psychiatrists. The unit's opening is a call to action, emphasizing the need for a collective effort to build sustainable, long-term solutions.

Media Contact:

mbuchanan [at] (Monica Buchanan), Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Connecticut Children’s

About Connecticut Children’s

Connecticut Children’s is the only health system in Connecticut 100% dedicated to kids. That means high-quality care across more than 30 pediatric specialties in 40+ locations throughout Connecticut, Eastern New York and Western Massachusetts. One team on a mission to improve access to healthcare from before birth and into adulthood. One team pushing the limits with breakthrough research and community partnerships so we can help you focus on what matters most: your family’s wellness journey. When you choose Connecticut Children’s, you can expect care Beyond Imagination.