Youth mental health care

Outpatient Services | NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

Health Everyone

Young people can get mental health care near their home. Outpatient services are available in clinics, doctors’ offices, and schools. Through these services, children can get therapy, referrals, and help with medicine.

There are two major types of outpatient mental health for children: clinic treatment and day treatment.

  • Clinic treatment services include:
    • Assessment (psychiatric, psychosocial)
    • Individual, family, and group therapy
    • Managing medicine
    • Case management
    • Referrals to doctors
  • Day treatment program services include:
    • Special education in small classes
    • Treatment plans
    • Managing medicine
    • Individual, family, and group therapy
    • Emergency help
    • Interpersonal skill development

Am I eligible?

Clinic treatment is available for:

  • Children from birth to age 18 (not all clinics accept children under 5 years old)
  • Children with emotional, behavioral, or mental health challenges

Day treatment programs are available for:

  • Children between the ages of 3 and 18 (there are two programs in NYC for children ages 3 – 5)
  • Children with mental health disorders that get in the way of school or social function
  • Children who have difficulties in a regular classroom

I'm ready to apply

Clinic treatment

Day treatment program

  • Make a referral to the local school district. Referrals can be made by parents or children under certain circumstances. A staff member at the school or district, a doctor, a court officer, or any agency a child may be involved with can also make referrals.
  • For more information, contact the principal or parent coordinator of your child’s school or call 1-888-NYC-WELL.

How can I get help?

  • Call NYC Well at 1-888-NYC-WELL, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This free, confidential service connects NYC residents to counselors for mental health support and help finding mental health and substance abuse services.
  • Visit the Outpatient Services website for more information and available resources.

Updated February 21, 2020