Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital’s child and adolescent program provides age specific acute psychiatric services in a structured, safe, and nurturing environment to children ages 4 to 12 and adolescents ages 13 to 17. With confidentiality and sensitivity, our inpatient program allows patients to begin treatment in an intensive and secure therapeutic environment where they are cared for 24 hours a day by our team of compassionate and highly trained professionals.

The program focus is on crisis intervention, enabling a shorter length of stay. Treatment includes medication management, individual, group and family therapy, classes in coping skills, and a wide variety of therapeutic activities, such as expressive therapy, art and music therapy, recreational therapy, and yoga therapy. Our clinical staff utilizes evidence based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and integrates case management services with family, school, and agency support systems. Our goal is to stabilize acute symptoms as quickly as possible so the child may continue treatment in a less restrictive outpatient environment.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

DBT is a type of therapy that helps you learn skills to be more in control of your emotions so you can decrease chaos in relationships, increase ability to tolerate discomfort, regulate emotional ups and downs, and improve self-concept. Our clinical team is specially trained in DBT skills and strategies to help you:

  • Reduce self-harming and impulsive behaviors
  • Understand and manage overwhelming emotions
  • Learn more effective ways to cope with stress
  • Improve relationships and identify effective relationships in your life
  • Reduce acute hospitalizations
  • Create a life worth living


It’s important to remember that many people experience mental illness. In fact, mental illness is the most prevalent disease in America; more prevalent than cancer, heart, and lung disease combined.

  • Four million children and adolescents in this country suffer from a serious mental disorder that causes significant functional impairments at home, at school, and with peers
  • 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24
  • One in four Americans will suffer from a mental illness or substance abuse disorder at some time in their lives
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and an overwhelming majority of suicide victims are found to have a diagnosable mental disorder
  • Approximately 50% of youths ages 8 to 15 with mental illness received no mental health services in the previous year
  • Mental disorders in children and adolescents are real and can be effectively treated, especially when identified and treated early. Treatment enables children and adolescents succeed in school, to develop socially, and to fully experience the developmental opportunities of childhood

It’s comforting to know that many people have problems similar to yours. And it’s also comforting to know that there is a place you can come for support, guidance, and professional treatment. You are not alone–Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital is here to help. If you or a loved one is struggling with mental illness, call us for additional information or to schedule a confidential assessment. Never lose hope.

View & Download Children & Adolescent Services Brochure


We’re Here To Help

Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital can help provide intervention, identify the appropriate level of care, conduct free assessments, and make referrals when necessary.Assessments are available 24 hours every day. To arrange a confidential assessment at no cost, call 850.763.0017 and ask to speak with an assessment and referral counselor.