Children's Mental Health Services at Gateway Healthcare

Complex Pediatric Illnesses and Co-Occurring Behavioral Health Disorders

Children with complex pediatric illnesses are often vulnerable to developing behavioral health disorders that interfere with the management of their medical condition.

Typical disorders experienced by the children and adolescents that we serve include:

  • Eating disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Pain
  • Conversion disorders
  • Somatic symptom disorder
  • Medical neglect and medical abuse

The Team Approach to Treatment

Children with complex pediatric illnesses require an integrated treatment approach between medical and psychiatric professionals. Gateway’s Med/Psych specialty team has access to nursing, nutrition, and pediatric supports through Hasbro Children’s Hospital and other medical professionals treating the child. Providing services in the home and community has proven to be an effective modality for treatment as it allows the family and clinician to experience problems and solutions in the everyday environment. 

We use evidence-based interventions in our treatment program, including family-based therapy (FBT) as the treatment framework for eating disorders that empowers parents in decision making, includes siblings in treatment, and coaches caregivers in finding solutions to everyday challenges. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is also implemented with children who have other types of illnesses to address child and parent beliefs, changing thoughts, and coping with symptoms. These interventions are coupled with supportive and skills-based care coordination services, ongoing psychiatric care, and medication management, that fully wraps services around each family.