It’s Never Just the Heart: Promoting Mental Health for Children with CHD and Their Families

Congenital heart disease is never just about the heart. CHD has a real impact on all aspects of life and health for patients and families, especially when it comes to mental health.

For those impacted by the most common birth defect, it’s never just about the heart. Mental health issues are extremely common within the CHD community. And while these issues are immensely important in the well-being of patients with CHD and their families, too often mental health issues are underrecognized and undertreated.

Conquering CHD realizes there are many factors to consider for CHD patients and families when it comes to mental health and there is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation. Thankfully, there are resources available for patients and families to use when speaking with their care teams and advocating for their mental health. We are joined by Dr. Gul Dadlani, Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Florida; Dr. Erica Sood, a pediatric psychologist in Cardiology at Nemours Children’s Health in Delaware and Director of the Nemours Cardiac Learning and Early Developmental Program; Danielle Wagner, President of Conquering CHD Delaware and parent to a child with CHD, and Erin Riegel, Vice President of Conquering CHD Delaware and parent to a child with CHD as they provide information and guidance about promoting the mental health for children with CHD and their families.

As a community, we want to make meaningful progress towards better supporting the mental health of those impacted by CHD. Will you take 5 minutes and complete the survey below? Your responses will help us in shaping essential mental health programming and resources for patients and families.

Take the Survey

Resources from Conquering CHD:

Resources from Nemours Children’s Health:

Nemours KidsHealth:

Nemours KidsCope:

Additional Resources:

Learn about signs and symptoms of a mental health problem

Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology:


Mental Health Assessment Center:

Learn about evidence-based therapies

Find a Psychologist

American Psychological Association – Psychologist Locator:

Schedule an appointment with a cardiac neurodevelopment team

Learn what hospitals have cardiac neurodevelopmental programs and are members of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative (CNOC):

Online parent education and resources

Triple P Positive Parenting Program:

Incredible Years:

Child Anxiety Tales, Camp Cope-a-lot:

HealthCareToolBox (Focused on pediatric medical traumatic stress):

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