Critical Crossroads: Pediatric Mental Health Care in the Emergency Department

The number of children seeking care for a mental health crisis in an emergency department is on the rise. With often limited mental health services, hospitals in rural areas bear an excessive burden.

That’s why HRSA created a new toolkit.

Use our new toolkit

Critical Crossroads: Pediatric Mental Health Care in the Emergency Department (PDF – 1.83 MB)*

Watch our webcast

Listen to the recording of our Critical Crossroads webcast HRSA Exit Disclaimer

Find out:

  • Why we developed Critical Crossroads
  • How you can use the toolkit

How does our toolkit help you?

It can better prepare hospital emergency departments to manage and coordinate care for children and adolescents in mental health crisis.

You can tailor the resources to your specific needs, patient population, and community.

Can you use the Critical Crossroads toolkit?

If you establish policies and protocols in emergency departments, you can use this toolkit.

This includes:

  • Hospital administrators
  • Social workers
  • Pediatric care coordinators
  • Physicians and nurses
  • Mental health providers

Who developed the toolkit?

HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program partnered with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) to create Critical Crossroads.

Which federal partners also worked on the toolkit?


*We did not create this toolkit to dictate care. However, we do provide resources to guide the development of care pathways.

Date Last Reviewed:  August 2019


Contact Us

Lorah Ludwig
Public Health Analyst