Mclean Hospital

Girls and Young Women Mental Health

Supporting Girls and Women Throughout the Life Span

Psychiatrist talks with girl on playground

At McLean Hospital, we are committed to supporting young people and their families while they learn the skills they need to manage their mental health. From comprehensive treatment programs to robust support and education, we are here to help.

Research underscores that gender is an important factor in determining risk, occurrence, presentation, course, and treatment of mental illnesses. Therefore, at McLean we have specialized services that focus on the unique psychiatric needs of girls and young women.

As the brain and body develop from infancy through adulthood, kids and teens may encounter an array of challenges. Some issues may be easy to solve, while others may result in crisis. Some young people have the ability to deal with these challenges, while others may need assistance to navigate their way through these problems. Child and adolescent care focuses on mental health symptoms and diagnoses as they apply to youth development and is focused on supporting young people and their parents and families on the path to recovery.

McLean offers an array of treatment services for girls and young women. These programs utilize proven diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to treat symptoms and restore health.

Treatment at McLean

McLean Hospital offers comprehensive mental health care options, from short-term acute care for individuals in psychiatric crisis to outpatient appointments. Services for women and girls cover a range of symptoms and diagnoses, including borderline personality disorder, addiction, eating disorders, trauma-related disorders, and more.

Young women in group therapy
McLean is at the forefront of mental health care for women and girls

Customized treatment plans can include individual, group, and family therapy, behavioral therapies, diagnostic assessment, consultation services, medication evaluation and management, and aftercare planning. We emphasize evidence-based treatment and therapy models informed by cutting-edge research conducted at McLean and around the world. By incorporating various approaches, treatment can be customized for each individual to help ensure recovery.

Robust patient and family education and support including informational materials, support groups, and assistance with community resources are also incorporated into patient care.

McLean’s Women’s Mental Health Programs

At McLean, we offer treatment options focused on women and girls on our main campus in Belmont, Massachusetts and other satellite locations nearby.

3East: Adolescent DBT Programs
McLean’s adolescent dialectical behavior therapy programs, collectively known as 3East, provide specialized care for teens and young adults who require treatment for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and emerging borderline personality disorder. The programs in the 3East continuum are specifically designed to accommodate patients in different phases of the treatment and recovery process, from highly focused residential treatment to outpatient care. We have intensive treatment tracks for both boys and girls, and our day program (partial hospital) and outpatient program are coed.

Learn More About Women’s Mental Health

Find articles, news, videos, and more about mental health and well-being for girls and young women.


Klarman Eating Disorders Center
Founded with the generous support of the Klarman Family Foundation, the program provides state-of-the-art treatment for young women ages 16 to 26. Our residential and partial hospital program specializes in the treatment of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. Recognizing that each young woman has a distinct set of issues that contribute to her eating disorder, we also understand that many also struggle with co-occurring mental health problems such as substance use, depression, mood and anxiety disorders, as well as trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition, many of our programs are coeducational. Learn more about all of our child and adolescent treatment options.

About the Conditions

Though men and women alike struggle with every type of mental health disorder, there are a few conditions that occur more often in women and girls. Learn more about these conditions, including definitions and helpful resources.

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Mental health experts agree that the name “borderline personality disorder” can be misleading; however, a more accurate term does not yet exist. The good news is that when BPD is accurately diagnosed, treatment can be successful and individuals can go on to lead meaningful and productive lives.

What Are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders happen as a result of severe disturbances in eating behavior, such as unhealthy reduction of food intake or extreme overeating. These patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spirals out of control.

Learn more about other mental health conditions and McLean’s public education efforts on our Education Initiatives page.

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