Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 251–271

The Premature Demise of Public Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Beds

Part I: Overview and Current Conditions
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11126-006-9012-0

Cite this article as:
Geller, J.L. & Biebel, K. Psychiatr Q (2006) 77: 251. doi:10.1007/s11126-006-9012-0


Current trends on the national landscape of available treatment and delivery systems for children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance indicate a sharp decline in the availability of inpatient psychiatric services. These trends are troubling as six to nine million children and adolescents in the United States suffer from some serious emotional disturbance, and the majority in need of treatment do not receive behavioral health services. The consequences of untreated mental illness in children are grave, and the cost to society of children’s mental health problems is high in both human and fiscal terms. This paper will describe national trends in behavioral health in general and specifically children’s mental health, and will detail the experiences of many states to identify possible problems and pitfalls to downsizing and closing child and adolescent inpatient psychiatric beds.


Child/adolescent psychiatry Inpatient availability 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.Center for Mental Health Services Research, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSAe-mail:

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