Children and adolescents who are seriously emotionally disturbed have intense emotional or behavioral problems that usually come to the attention of the school and the community. These children and their families need a range of treatment and support services, including respite for the family to recover from the strain of caring for an emotionally disturbed child. Early treatment is critical to help the child complete school, develop needed skills and have a good chance at a improving functional areas of the child and families lives.
Georgia's services focus on family support and intervention and preventing crises whenever possible. When crises do occur, public mental health services aim to serve the child in the home or close to home if possible, and to avoid hospitalization, which can be traumatic for young children. The services a child and family receives depends on a professional determination of level of need and the services and other community resources available. Services vary by region and may include:
- Crisis Services - crisis stabilization programs, mobile crisis teams, crisis residential services, and crisis assessments in the clinic, etc.
- Outpatient Services - evaluation/assessment, diagnosis, counseling and medication, if needed, individual, group and family therapy, community support services and physician services, etc.
- Community Support Services - services provided by individuals or teams of staff, at the location of need, including home, school, detention facility, or other community setting.
- Intensive Family Intervention - more intensive therapeutic services provided by teams of professional staff in home, community, schools, etc.
- Outdoor Therapeutic Programs - services provided in outdoor wilderness settings such as canoeing, backpacking, hiking and other experiential adventure services. The service helps to modify behavior, promote self-confidence, group cooperation and improve vocational and recreational skills.
Please contact your Regional Office if you have any questions or concerns.
Current Child and Adolescent Mental Health Initiatives
- Community Based Alternatives for Youth (CBAY) - This 1915(c) Waiver Home and Community-Based Services demonstration program will utilize a systems approach that targets youth served by multiple agencies, striving to coordinate, blend, and braid programs and funding to create a comprehensive behavioral system that ensures youth are placed in and remain in intensive residential treatment only when necessary and that a coordinated system of services at the community level is available.
- KidsNet Georgia - Through two federally funded grant programs from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), MHDDAD is working with all child-serving agencies, and family and advocacy organizations to build and enhance our ability to deliver behavioral health services to youth and their families utilizing a system of care approach. The focus is to improve the skills of the workforce serving children and families; to maximize the use of funding available for services and supports; to expand family and youth involvement in system design; and to support best practice models of service delivery. For more information, please visit www.KidsNetGeorgia.org.
- (LEPSI) Limited English Proficiency and/or Sensory Impairment. DBHDD is committed to ensure that LEPSI consumers and family members have meaningful language access to all services conducted or supported by DBHDD. Five regional Language Access Coordinators are trained to assist LEPSI consumers in accessing language assistance through a qualified Language Service Vendor. Please contact your Language Access Coordinator at the Regional Office if you have any questions or concerns regarding free interpreting services.