Department of Mental Health
The Mental Health Department emphasizes treatment of developmental, emotional and behavioral problems of children and families. The Mental Health Department offers a range of therapeutic services and is committed to developing and sustaining specialized clinical services, community outreach and advocacy services, prevention and family support programs, implementation of best practices and education and training programs.
The department offers both clinic and community-based services. Specialty services include:
Assessment offers comprehensive neuropsychological and psychological assessment services for children with a range of medical, neurological, developmental, attention, learning, emotional and behavioral concerns.
Autism Integrative Care
The type of autism evaluation and treatment a child receives depends on your child’s age, medical history and specific concerns. Each child is scheduled with a team of professionals.
Individual therapy is available for children, ages two through 22. Both long-term and short-term treatment are available to address emotional and behavioral difficulties including conduct, parent-child conflicts, attention deficits and school related difficulties including disruptions, truancy, bullying and underachievement. Other common behaviors served include aggression, verbal abuse, tantrums, inappropriate sexual behavior, mood disturbances, anxiety, depression, phobias, unresolved grief, exposure to a traumatic event and social skills deficits. Caregivers and family members are an integral part of developing treatment plans. Consultations with school, community agencies and courts are also available.
Family therapy is offered to children between the ages of two through 22 and their families/caregivers who are seeking to improve communication, develop more effective parenting strategies, come to terms with past trauma/major losses and prevent out-of-home placement. Family assessments and consultations with extended family, school, community agencies and courts are also available.
Keystone offers theme-centered groups to help children and adolescents learn new strategies to deal with special concerns. Groups are designed to enhance social and problem solving skills, promote emotional and social development and reduce behavioral concerns. Your child’s developmental needs and level of understanding of your child’s challenges are carefully considered to match treatment needs with the appropriate group.
Birth to Five
Birth to Five services are an interdisciplinary resource for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families. Assessment, evaluation, consultation and treatment are targeted to address social, emotional, cognitive, motor, speech and language and developmental needs. Reasons for referrals include aggressive/disruptive behavior, excessive crying, issues related to attachment, adjustment issues, difficulty with sleeping, eating, toileting, inattention, impulsivity and developmental delays.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
The PCIT program uses an evidence-based treatment model of highly specified, step-by-step, live-coaching sessions with caregivers and children, ages two through seven. It is designed to develop positive caregiver-child interaction patterns, decrease problem behaviors through specific behavior management techniques and provide consistency across caregivers. Some presenting problems that may be addressed with PCIT include noncompliance, tantrums, cursing, stealing, destructive behavior, verbal and physical aggression, over-activity, lying, perfectionism, low self-esteem, sad mood, bonding in blending families, post-divorce adjustment and symptoms of trauma. Caregivers are taught and coached in relationship building skills using a social learning model and a “bug-in-the-ear” transmitter system, while engaging in developmentally appropriate play with their child.
The Incredible Years
This program is designed for parents and teachers to reduce challenging behaviors in children and increase their social and self-control skills. The program has been found to be effective in strengthening teacher and parent management skills, improving children’s social competence and reducing behavior problems. Behaviors commonly treated include tantrums, whining, cursing, hitting, back talk, refusing to listen and breaking house rules. Research shows that the program has turned around the behaviors of up to 80 percent of the children of participating parents and teachers.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
Trauma-focused therapy uses an evidence-based treatment model to help children, ages four through 22, and their families/caregivers overcome the negative effects of traumatic life events. Traumas range from sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic or community violence and traumatic grief/loss.
Health and Behavioral Interventions
Health and Behavioral Interventions provide comprehensive and intensive outpatient psychological services for infants, children and adolescents who are experiencing behavioral and emotional difficulties related to a physical health diagnosis. The program is committed to providing clinical care that is consistent with best practices in psychology. Intensive services provide stabilization of cognitive, emotional and social factors that affect the maintenance of health and recovery from illness. Members of the health and behavioral team treat children with acute and chronic pediatric illnesses.
Health and behavioral interventions apply principles and methods to the assessment and treatment of learning, behavioral and psychosocial challenges associated with diagnosis, treatment and adaptation to pediatric medical problems. This approach helps to address the numerous behavioral, psychological, social and environmental influences on the ability of children and adolescents and their caregivers to cope with health problems and medical care.
The primary goal of services is to promote healthy child development and behavior and psychological adjustment despite extraordinary stress and demands placed on children and families by medical problems. The focus of the intervention is to improve the client’s health and well-being via cognitive, behavioral, social and/or psychophysiological procedures designed to ameliorate specific disease related problems. Licensed psychologists and highly trained staff coordinate services with multidisciplinary health care, rehabilitation and educational teams. Direct clinical services are provided to children and adolescents with a wide range of medical problems, along with their families and caregivers.
Examples of interventions include taking medicine, adherence to medical protocols, bowel and bladder management, restricted diet, exercise programs, wearing glasses or hearing aids, wound care, dressing changes, preparations for surgery, increasing caloric intake, transfers to oral feeding, acceptance of injections, safety and reductions of challenging behaviors in health care settings.