If you are a physician and would like to make a referral, please call 512-324-0029.

How to Schedule an Appointment

Call to schedule an assessment to determine if your child needs additional help from a health care professional. This assessment is a series of simple questions with a trained behavioral health navigator who can get your child connected with the appropriate level of care.  You can call us at 512-324-0029 24/7. Please note we do not take walk-ins.

If you feel your child is in immediate crisis and might harm themselves or others, please call 9-1-1 or visit your nearest emergency room.

What to Expect During Your Child’s Stay

Unit Overview

Who will be helping my child? 

Your child’s team of caregivers meets daily to talk about treatment, progress and when they may be ready to go home. Treatment team members include:

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist – A child psychiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the assessment and treatment of mental disorders in children. They will evaluate mental and physical health, treatment response and prescribe medications as needed. A resident psychiatrist and/or medical student(s) may work with your child.

Social Worker – The social worker will be the primary point of contact for your child and your family. The social worker will work with you to develop a safe plan to go home.

Nurse – A nurse will monitor your child’s needs, medications and medical status. You can talk to the nurse about questions with your child’s care.

Expressive Therapists – An expressive therapist uses art, drama, music and movement as part of treatment.

Behavioral Health Technicians – Behavioral health technicians will be with your child each day to keep them safe and help them with their treatment plan.

Unit Activities– Groups and Therapies

What will my child do during their stay?

Your child will participate in activities and groups. These groups help with depression, anxiety, stress and problems with relationships. Some of the different kinds of group therapy may include:

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – This group helps patients develop skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships.  Skills focus on improving acceptance, managing emotions and communication.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This group focuses on changing behavior patterns by interrupting the cycle of negative thoughts, feelings and actions.

Coping Skills – This group helps to develop problem solving skills to manage coping with triggers. 

Expressive Therapy – This group teaches calming techniques to help with stress through art, music, movement, writing and psychodrama.

Unit Guidelines

  • Respect yourself, your peers, the staff and the hospital.
  • Respect physical space. High fives are the only acceptable form of physical touch.
  • Use language that is free from discussion about drugs, violence, sex and cursing.
  • Attend all activities and groups.
  • Notify staff of all safety concerns.
  • Keep your door open when you are in your room and locked when you are not in your room.
  • Keep your room organized and clean.
  • Food and snacks can be eaten in the day room or cafeteria. Please clean up after you are finished eating.
  • You are allowed to be in the dayrooms, hallways and in your room. Other areas may be entered with staff only.
  • Visits with family will take place in the day room or common areas.
  • You may call the individuals on your approved phone call list during the designated call times.
  • Respect the privacy of your peers. You can keep each other safe by NOT sharing the identity or the stories of your peers with ANYONE (including while you are in the hospital, after you leave and on social media).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will my child be in the hospital?
A: The length of hospital stay depends on your child and family’s progress. The average length of stay is five days.

Q: Can my child use a phone?
A: Yes, all patients can receive and make calls. Your child may only use the phone during designated call times.

Phone times:
Monday to Friday
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Q: Who may visit my child?
A: Upon admission, you will get an access code and complete a form which states the immediate family members you wish to visit with or speak to your child. Visitors should be parents, primary caretakers or household members over the age of 12. Patients are NOT allowed to have friends visit or call. ONLY TWO VISITORS WILL BE ALLOWED AT A TIME.

Visiting hours:

Monday to Friday
6 pm.-6:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Q: How will I know how my child is doing?
A: You can call the unit at any time and ask to speak to the nurse. Information about your child’s progress, treatment or behavior will be provided regularly through the social worker. Anyone requesting information about or to speak with your child must have the access code provided at the time of admission.

Q: Can my child have outside food or drinks?
A: Hospital policy does not allow outside food or drinks.

Q: What should patients bring?
A: We suggest bringing only necessary clothing as we have limited storage space. Patients will have access to a washer and dryer. The hospital can provide toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo, comb, brush, feminine products, lotion and deodorant. We suggest packing three to five shirts, two to four pairs of pants, five to six pairs of underpants and bras, five to six pairs of socks and two sets of pajamas. The following items are allowed:

  • Five cosmetic items without mirrors, glass or sharp edges
  • Personal hygiene items that are alcohol free and in non-aerosol containers
  • Modest clothing free of drawstring, shoelaces and designs or pictures containing alcohol, drugs, cursing or violent themes
  • Books, magazines and journals (No spiral or staple-bound)
  • Home medications or medication list. Any home medications will be securely stored in the hospital pharmacy
  • Necessary medical devices such as a breathing machine
  • Comfort items such as pillow, blanket or stuffed animal that must remain in patient’s room

All items must be checked for safety by security and staff.   We are a locked facility with controlled access between units.

How We Are Addressing COVID-19

  • Every patient has to have a negative test for COVID before coming onto our mental health unit
  • Every staff member and patient is required to wear a mask as much of the time as possible (other than eating, drinking, sleeping, showering)
  • Frequent hand washing is encouraged and hand sanitizer is readily available
  • Social distancing is observed by all staff and patients on the unit, tables are placed at least 6 feet apart, group therapies are held in smaller numbers to allow at least 6 feet of distance between each person

Contact Us

Call us at 512-324-0029 or toll-free at 877-918-2039.

Email us at childrensmentalhealth@ascension.org.

If you are making a mental health referral, please complete and send the documents below to childrensmentalheath@ascension.org or fax to 512-380-4277.

Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale
Mental Health Referral Form

4900 Mueller Blvd., Austin, TX 78723
The Grace Grego Maxwell Mental Health Unit is located on the south side of Dell Children’s Medical Center off Philomena Street.

Visiting hours:

Monday to Friday
6 pm.-6:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Patient phone times:

Monday to Friday
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.