Pediatric Behavioral Health in Endocrinology

When hormones in the body aren't working right, your child may have an endocrine disorder.

Sometimes, these disorders in children cause behavior issues. Other times, they may need extra help coping with their disease.

Behavioral health experts are part of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Behavioral health providers integrated into the Division of Endocrinology at UPMC Children’s provide collaborative care with you and your child’s medical team to provide support and intervention to improve health outcomes.

This team approach to care:

  • Supports efforts to improve your child's health and quality of life.
  • Attends to your child's physical and behavioral health.

Your child's endocrinology provider will refer them for behavioral health care when:

  • They discover the need during treatment in our endocrine clinic.
  • It would also help you and your family.

Once referred, our office will contact you to schedule a behavioral health assessment. We'll review the endocrinology provider's concerns and come up with a proper plan of care.

Behavioral Health for Children With Diabetes

Our behavioral health providers will:

  • Meet with your child during their hospital stay when they're first diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Work with your child's doctors and other members of their diabetes treatment team.
  • Stay a part of your child's treatment team throughout their time with UPMC Children's diabetes management team. We'll also follow up with them through the outpatient clinic.

Children with a new diabetes diagnosis

The behavioral health team helps children newly diagnosed with diabetes:

  • Adjust to having a disease.
  • Improve their emotional and social well-being.
  • Adapt to changes in their treatment.
  • Help their families adjust.
  • Make diet and lifestyle changes.
  • Address any other behavioral health issues that impact diabetes management.

Children living with diabetes

Behavioral health experts also help children living with diabetes:

  • Adhere to treatment.
  • Adjust to changes in their treatment.
  • Know the stressors that trigger fatigue or burnout from managing their disease.
  • Make lifestyle changes needed to better manage their disease.
  • Address family distress.
  • Learn how behavioral health symptoms impact how they manage their diabetes.
Evidence-based treatments we offer include:

Gender and Sexual Development in Young People

Our behavioral health care team works with experts from the Gender and Sexual Development Clinic at UPMC Children's to:

  • Conduct diagnostic interviews.
  • Assess behavioral health symptoms.
  • Suggest proper follow-up care. This may include gender-affirming care in the clinic with coordinated appointments.

Behavioral health also assesses and supports:

  • A youth's readiness to pursue gender-affirming hormones and adjust through their transition.
  • The family's needs to help support their child's gender identification and transition.

Metabolism and Endocrine Wellness in Children

Our behavioral health and endocrine wellness experts review and treat behavior issues in the context of growth and development.

We look at the barriers and social factors that may impact their thoughts and actions.

Our team works with children and their families to support improved health with:

  • Lifestyle changes.
  • Nutrition counseling.
  • Teaching self-care.
  • Promoting stress resilience.
  • Improving treatment adherence.