Psychiatric Crisis Department

Providing Mental and Behavioral Health Crisis Treatment for Children and Adolescents

Psychiatric Crisis Department

Call 911 if you are concerned about your child’s immediate safety.

The Psychiatric Crisis Department at the Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion at Nationwide Children’s Hospital treats children and adolescents for mental and behavioral health crises.

It’s like an emergency room, but for children experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis.

When To Go

When Should We Use the Psychiatric Crisis Department?

Go to the Psychiatric Crisis Department when your child has an urgent behavioral or mental health concern that needs immediately addressed and your child has no medical concerns.

You do not need to call ahead to come to the Psychiatric Crisis Department. The child should be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

When Should We Use the Emergency Department?

Go to the Emergency Department if your child has:

  • Injuries
  • Bleeding
  • Become unconscious (passed out)
  • Swallowed something/overdosed
  • Breathing difficulties  

Crisis Line

If you have concerns about serious injury to your child or others, call 911.

If You Live in Franklin County:

  • If you live in Franklin County and your child is in crisis and you would like to talk to a mental health provider, call the Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Franklin County Youth Psychiatric Crisis Line at (614) 722-1800.

If You Live Outside of Franklin County:

  • If you do not live in Franklin County but you are connected with a Nationwide Children’s Behavioral Health provider, call the Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Franklin County Youth Psychiatric Crisis Line at (614) 722-1800.
  • If you do not live in Franklin County and are not connected with a Nationwide Children’s Behavioral Health provider, please call your county psychiatric crisis line or current behavioral health care provider for help in determining the best response.
  • If you do not know your county's crisis line and you or your child need immediate help due to having suicidal thoughts, go to your local emergency room, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

What to Expect at The Psychiatric Crisis Department

  • You will be greeted by security when you arrive at the Psychiatric Crisis Department. You will need to present your driver’s license and insurance card.
  • You will go through a magnetometer (metal detector). Weapons are not allowed in the Psychiatric Crisis Department. Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a weapons free zone. Visitors are prohibited from possessing/carrying weapons in any Nationwide Children’s facility.
  • You will then enter through the double door entrance called a “sally port.” These doors are to protect the patients and visitors. The only way to leave this secured area is through a staff member.
  • Staff will guide you to the appropriate area.
  • Staff will assess and evaluate why you are there.
  • You will then go to the waiting area and wait for the mental health professional.
  • Patients are seen based on acuity (severity of the situation) and not on a first-come, first-served basis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) For Families & Providers

Family FAQs

When should you use the Psychiatric Crisis Department? Review frequently asked questions for parents and guardians.

Provider FAQs

Review frequently asked questions for primary care providers looking to refer patients to the Psychiatric Crisis Department.