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Teen Mental Health Initiative: Hope & Helpful Tips

Teen Mental Health Initiative: Hope & Helpful Tips

As a community, we face a growing crisis with our young people. One in five teens is affected by a mental health condition such as anxiety and depression, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15-24 year-olds in the United States. It is no secret that teens throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties are affected by teen mental health issues and that the right care can be difficult to find and navigate.

In response to these concerning trends, CHC launched the Teen Mental Health Initiative (TMHI) in fall 2016. The Center at CHC has provided professional therapy for children and teens for years, specializing in anxiety and depression. Through this new initiative, we’ve expanded therapy options to include more affordable and accessible therapy and psychiatry services for teens, as well as an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for teens needing a higher level of care. The IOP staff works with teens to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression; improve all areas of their lives including family dynamics, friendships, managing emotions and coping with stress; reduce unsafe thoughts and behaviors; and help them realize a life worth living. The IOP opened on May 8, 2017 at CHC’s Palo Alto campus.

According to Dr. Lynette Hsu, Head of Adolescent Mental Health Services at CHC:

“Treating mental health issues in teenagers is crucial. Not only can we limit the pain and impact of the illness, we then have an opportunity to support the teen, family and school in getting the teen back on the right course of growth and self-discovery.”
As a parent, family member or friend it’s important to be aware of the signs of anxiety and depression.
If you notice any of the following signs or any sudden changes in behavior or mood, it’s a good idea to check in with your loved one to see if they are okay and help them find the right care:

  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Frequent anger or irritability
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Headaches, stomachaches, or other physical symptoms
  • Frequent sadness or crying
  • Significant mood swings
  • Loss of energy
  • Excessive worry
  • Frequent thoughts of death or dying
  • Signs of self harm

Talking about it helps and listening can save a life. CHC provides free 30-minute consultations for parents who have concerns about their child or teen and we are currently accepting new clients for therapy and applications for the IOP. For more information, visit our website at beta.chconline.org.