Emotional Support for Your Child & Family

We understand that the medical experience can be stressful for children and their families. Your child—and you—may feel scared, worried, and overwhelmed. These are all normal responses during a challenging time. Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital of New York at NYU Langone has experts available to help.

Our concern for your child’s emotional wellbeing starts at the beginning of the medical journey. Whether your child has received a new diagnosis or is recovering from an injury, our medical professionals understand that children need extra support. Their emotions can be complex: fear about being ill, guilt due to the stress this causes for family members, and anger that this happened in the first place. At Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, we believe that helping a child navigate these feelings is just as important as caring for his or her physical needs.

“You cannot take care of children without taking care of the rest of the family: the siblings, the parents, the grandparents.”

—Pat Chibarro, NP

Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Plastic Surgery

Pediatric Patient and Woman

Our programs are made possible by support from the Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care.

Emotional Support for Children

The medical experience can be stressful for children of all ages. Our team, which includes psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health professionals, determines which type of support best meets your child’s needs.

Our child life team helps to make the hospital seem less scary through activities such as medical play or by using distractions, such as playing games or talking with your child. Our art and music therapists help children find creative ways to express their emotions. Integrative health programs provide therapies such as yoga and meditation that can aid in relaxation. Being relaxed can help a child cope better with his or her situation.

For children who have pre-existing emotional or mental health issues—such as learning or behavioral challenges, anxiety, or depression—a medical illness and experience can worsen symptoms or make it more difficult to cope. Our team of child psychologists and psychiatrists, working closely with pediatric social workers and the medical team, can help your child and family get through this trying time.

Emotional Support for Families

In addition to caring for children, we also support their parents, siblings, and other family members.

Caring for a child who has an illness is mentally and physically exhausting, and we know your worries can be overwhelming. Our team is here to talk with you about your concerns and to meet your needs, too.

We also work with siblings who might be grappling with complex emotions, such as fear, isolation, and jealousy. Having a child who is going through medical treatment can also put a strain on a marriage and other relationships, and we can help you navigate these issues.

Contact Us

For more information about emotional support for children and families, please contact our social work and care management services by calling 212-263-5018.