CHC in the Press: Program Introduces Mental Health Services
On May 8, Palo Alto’s Children’s Health Council (CHC) will debut its newest branch, the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which will focus on aiding teenagers struggling with depression or anxiety.
The IOP will use a variety of therapeutic methods, including mindful movement and family therapy, to provide comprehensive support and treatment for high schoolers, specifically those with high levels of anxiety, self-esteem problems, suicidal thoughts and histories of self-harm.
“The goal of the IOP is to meet the needs of the community — of Palo Alto and also of the greater Bay Area,” said Jennifer Leydecker, a licensed marriage and family therapist and primary clinician at the IOP. “There are adolescents struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, and [the IOP] is definitely needed because there are few resources for higher-level needs in the Bay Area.”
The outpatient program is the first of its kind to open in Palo Alto. While there are other IOPs and teenage mental health facilities in the Bay Area, they concentrate mostly on substance abuse; this IOP will primarily target combatting depression, anxiety and threats to harm.
“There are teens in the area who need more help,” said Lynette Hsu, head of adolescent mental health at the CHC and medical director of the IOP. “There are many with severe depression, difficulty with chronic suicidal thoughts and self injury behaviors.”
Students who meet the threshold of symptoms for higher-level therapy will be referred to the IOP through their school counselors, therapists or hospital staff. Patients will include both those coming straight out of residential hospital programs as well as teens coming from a once-a-week therapy session schedule who need a step up to higher degrees of treatment.
Contact CHC’s Intensive Outpatient Program: