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Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health

The University of Missouri Psychiatric Center provides both inpatient and outpatient care for children and adolescents.

Treatment Goals

Our goal is to provide a comprehensive evaluation, stabilization, short-term treatment and to make arrangements for ongoing treatment after discharge. The child and adolescent unit at the Missouri Psychiatric Center provides both inpatient and day treatment programs. The unit has 13 inpatient beds for youth ages 5 through 17. We serve children and adolescents who are in crisis and who pose a serious danger to themselves or others because of their problems.

Treatment Team

The patient's attending physician is a child psychiatrist who is a medical doctor. Other team members include a child psychiatrist who is completing additional fellowship training and a resident who is a medical doctor completing specialized training in child psychiatry. Nursing staff will monitor and document the patient's basic health needs, and assist with medications. A social worker can provide counseling and education. A psychologist provides counseling and may administer psychological tests. Occupational therapists, special education teachers and therapeutic recreation specialists are also part of the team.

Treatment Program

Children and adolescents are evaluated when they are admitted and throughout their stay. Information may be gathered from the child, parents, other agencies working with the child and the child's school. Informal observation of the child as well as formal questionnaires or tests may be used. Each day's structured schedule includes planned activities, free time, hygiene time, meals, visiting times and sleep time.

Depending on the child or adolescent's needs, treatment options may include medication management, group therapy, individual therapy and family therapy. Youth have opportunities for recreation and physical activities daily. They also receive daily educational instruction from teachers at our facility who work with the child's home school. When a child or adolescent is discharged, our team provides an aftercare plan to parents or guardians.

The adolescent program has adapted dialectic behavior therapy (DBT) as the framework for treatment, including the core strategies of validation and problem solving, and teaching mindfulness and distress tolerance skills. DBT is an evidence-based behavioral therapy that is effective with emotionally dysregulated, behaviorally dysregulated and suicidal individuals.

Outpatient Program

Children and adolescents treated with outpatient care are evaluated and prescribed treatment, which often includes medication management. Referrals are then made to community providers for additional therapy. 

Locations

Connect with MU Children's Hospital

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