The mission of the Division of Child and Adolescent Mental Health is to promote the mental health of children, adolescents, and families in Colorado, across the nation, and around the world through excellence in teaching and training, scientific research, clinical care, and community service. As faculty and staff, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and embrace, nurture, and enhance diversity both within our Division and in the communities in which we serve.
Our child and adolescent mental health programs have a long history of excellence that dates back to the work of Dr. René Spitz in the 1940’s. Leaders in children’s mental health and child development who have contributed to the history of the Division include Drs. John Conger, Linda Crnic, Robert Emde, Ruth Fuller, Robert Harmon, Dane Prugh, Randy Ross, and Sally Rogers. In 2002, under the leadership of Dr. Marianne Wamboldt, the Division merged with the child and adolescent mental health program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, which led to considerable growth in our clinical programs. Dr. Douglas Novins has been the Director of the Division since 2012, and Dr. Bruno Anthony has been the Chief of Psychology since 2017 and the Vice Chair for Psychology since 2019. The Division completed a detailed strategic planning process in 2014, which resulted in the prioritization and elevation of our clinical programs to strategic service line status at Children’s Hospital Colorado in order to better address the mental health needs of pediatric patients. This led to the creation of the Pediatric Mental Health Institute (PMHI), which serves as the overarching institute for our clinical programs at Children’s Hospital Colorado. The current clinical strategy of the PMHI calls for a greater focus on mental health services within the community, in primary care, and in specialty outpatient settings as well as expansion of our services for children and adolescents struggling with severe mental health challenges and crises. Our research strategy calls for expansion of our research activities by establishing at least four new self-sustaining research laboratories over the next decade. Our teaching and training strategies call for the development of a formal fellowship program for psychiatric nurse practitioners in children’s mental health.