At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we understand the many challenges and concerns that children and adolescents who are suffering from depression face, and we offer tailored programming that is designed to meet their sensitive needs. Childhood and adolescence can be a difficult time as youth are experimenting with who they are as individuals, testing their limits to see what they are capable of, and figuring out their own place in the world. When children and adolescents have the added detriment of facing overwhelming feelings of depression, it can elicit extreme difficulty in their ability to successfully move from one developmental stage to the next. These children may feel as though they no longer have control over their own minds and emotions, causing them to struggle with performing adequately in school, with developing healthy interpersonal relationships, and ultimately resulting in a deteriorated sense of self-worth. While it can be a difficult time for these children, with proper treatment, their symptoms can be successfully overcome and they can return to living the happy, healthy lives that they deserve to be living.
Millcreek Behavioral Health has been a leading provider of behavioral healthcare and educational services to emotionally disturbed and developmentally delayed children and adolescents in the state of Mississippi for over 30 years. Maintaining our standing as the largest private provider of services to children and adolescents in the state, we strive to provide programming that emphasizes the individualization of treatment based on each child’s strengths. Our highly trained and qualified staff works towards increasing the self-esteem of all children who are entrusted into our care in order to build their confidence and increase their ability to successfully navigate through treatment. When children and adolescents come to us struggling with the symptoms associated with depression, we will do everything in our power to help them overcome their challenges while also teaching them the skills needed to embark on a bright and successful future.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If you suspect that your child is suffering from depression, you may be feeling helpless as to what you can do to ease his or her suffering. You may also be concerned as to what your child’s future holds if he or she cannot overcome the negative effects of this illness. If you have watched changes in your child’s mood, behavior, and overall demeanor, but are unsure as to whether or not such things are indicative of the presence of depression, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my child isolating him or herself from family and friends?
- Has my child’s academic performance started to decline?
- Does my child have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning?
- Does my child no longer want to go to school?
- Is my child being overly critical of him or herself?
- Have there been noticeable changes in my child’s eating and sleeping patterns?
- Does it seem like my child no longer cares how he or she looks?
- Is my child consistently complaining of bodily aches and pains?
- Has my child been recently having unexplained angry outbursts?
- Is my child engaging in self-harming behaviors?
If you answered yes to any, or all, of these questions, it is imperative that you seek guidance from a mental health professional. While the thought of getting treatment for your child can be intimidating, the long-term effects that can potentially result when this illness remains untreated can be devastating for your child. Educate yourself on depression, research viable treatment options that are tailored for children, and be willing to be an active part of your child’s treatment process. Remain an ever-present source of comfort and support for your child. Recognize that the treatment process can be a long one, but continue to encourage your child because it will be worth it in the end.
Why Consider Treatment at Millcreek Behavioral Health
When children and adolescents are suffering from depression, they are susceptible to enduring a number of adverse effects. Their academic performances can suffer, they may lose important relationships as they begin to isolate themselves, and, sadly, they may begin to experience chronic feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that ultimately lead to suicidal ideation. But this does not have to be your child’s future. There is help available.
Residential treatment programs can be one of the most beneficial ways for children and adolescents who are plagued with the devastating effects of depression to receive the thorough, comprehensive care that they need in order to truly heal. By entering into a residential program, children are afforded the opportunity to step away from the stresses of their everyday lives and place all of their energy and focus on becoming well again. In addition to receiving the support of mental health professionals, in a residential setting, children can also receive the support of peers who are facing similar struggles. This added support works towards rebuilding the self-esteem of these children as they come to realize that they are not alone. Through the implementation of various therapeutic interventions, these programs can help children not only overcome their symptoms, but also help them develop the skills they need to successfully navigate their futures.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we are dedicated to helping children lead healthier, more productive lives. By offering programming that places a strong emphasis on a child’s inherent strengths, our caring and compassionate staff tailors treatment plans to be individualized based on each child’s unique set of needs, as well as on the skills he or she already has in place. We strive to consistently encourage the growth of children’s self-esteem and enhance their level of self-confidence and independence by developing activities that are based specifically on each patient’s strengths. Each child’s treatment process remains malleable as we incorporate changes based on needs or challenges as they arise. We also place a strong emphasis on the educational aspect of treatment, keeping in mind the crucial role that education plays in a child’s development and on his or her future. At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we are devoted to consistently improving our programming by persistently addressing any requests, concerns, or issues that are brought forth in our patient surveys. Our patients are our top priority and we make it our sole mission to do all that we can to ensure their lasting success.
Types of Treatment Offered at Millcreek Behavioral Health
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we strive to offer excellent customer service to everyone with whom we come in contact. We pride ourselves in our quick response to inquiries and referrals, and our admissions staff works diligently to ensure that a smooth and timely transition into our care is offered for all potential patients. Once children have been admitted into our psychiatric residential treatment program, they will partake in a number of therapeutic interventions that are tailored to meet each of their specific needs, while simultaneously enhancing and building upon the strengths they already possess. We use a cognitive behavioral approach to therapy in our programs here at Millcreek, which ensures that maladaptive thinking patterns are changed and positive behaviors are reinforced. Research-based journaling is utilized throughout individual and group therapies, which assists patients as they find success in their own treatment path.
The dedicated staff at Millcreek Behavioral Health is proud to offer a positive-reinforcement based approach to care, guiding patients as they work through a Phase System throughout the course of treatment. This Phase System includes four distinct phases, Exploration, Knowledge, Motivation, and Achievement, and is accompanied by identified safety levels that rewards children on their progress through treatment. Such progress is acknowledged through each patient’s journaling and includes helping children identify triggers that lead to their behaviors, as well as helping them come to understand the importance of accepting the consequences of their behaviors.
The following therapeutic interventions are incorporated into the overall, comprehensive care provided to patients in our psychiatric residential treatment program:
Medication management: The implementation of psychotropic medication often plays a significant role in helping to fully alleviate the symptoms of depression. Such needs will be determined on an individualized basis. We have board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists on staff and on call 24/7, as well as psychiatric nurse practitioners and family physicians who are available to meet any needs that our patients may have. Children are seen at least once each week for medication management.
Individual therapy: Individual therapy sessions are designed to be a time for children to meet one-on-one with their therapists in order to track treatment progress, discuss any concerns or challenges they are facing, and to work on individual skill-building. These sessions occur at a minimum of once each week, but most patients benefit from additional sessions, as determined based on need or when requested.
Group therapy: Group therapy sessions occur at a minimum of three times per week, but are typically held more often. All group sessions are individualized based on the needs of the children present, but common topics of discussion include anger management, coping skills, relationships, independent living skills, trauma, and patient/student rights.
Family therapy: At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we recognize how important family involvement is in a child’s healing process and therefore hold family therapy sessions at a minimum of twice per month. We also afford children the ability to make phone calls or visit with their family on a regular basis, ensuring that all family involvement is individualized in order to promote the most positive interaction possible for our patients and their families.
Education: All patients attend our onsite school Monday through Friday from 9am-3pm. All classes are led by Highly Qualified Licensed Teachers and classrooms have a student to teacher ratio of 10:1 maximum. There is at least one therapeutic aide present in all classrooms and one-to-one aides are provided for children when academically necessary.
Experiential therapies: In order to provide a fully holistic approach to treatment, we offer a number of additional therapeutic options on top of the traditional therapeutic methods. Such options include:
- Recreational therapy (held daily for all patients)
- Music therapy (including individual music and choir dance)
- Art projects
- Fitness club (intensive fitness programming is offered along with nutritional education)
- Walking club
- Book club
- Gym time (including activities such as flag football, volleyball, etc.)
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we understand how intimidating the end of treatment can be for many children and their families. For this reason, all discharge and aftercare planning begins at the time of admission. Appropriate discharge criteria is created for each patient depending upon his or her needs and treatment goals. Once that criteria has been successfully met, the patient’s treatment team works with him or her as the next, most appropriate level of care is determined. Aftercare planning includes recommendations from the patient’s treatment team for medical, educational, and psychiatric services. Our staff will do everything in our power to ensure that the transition back into a less restrictive setting is a smooth and comfortable one for all parties involved, knowing that the most important thing is that your child continues to be successful.