As part of our commitment to helping children lead happier, more productive lives, Millcreek Behavioral Health remains steadfast in providing care that addresses a myriad of concerns that plague young people. Our specialized programming is specifically designed to treat many cognitive, behavioral, and emotional issues, along with a number of psychiatric disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Also known as PTSD, this mental health condition is one such example of the mental illnesses that are effectively cared for at Millcreek Behavioral Health. Cornerstone to this distressing disorder are symptoms that include overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear, trepidation that doom is near, and vivid flashbacks and/or nightmares that are reminiscent of a trauma or traumas that brought on the initial symptoms of this disorder. Youth who grapple with this condition often experience a great deal of disruption in their daily lives, can be hindered in performing well at school, or may act out at home, as children and adolescents lack the appropriate coping skills for managing stress and ongoing feelings of apprehension. Thankfully, there are beneficial options for treatment that can help young people find relief from this emotionally crippling disorder.
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 post-traumatic stress disorder, 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
As a parent or caregiver, you may wish that you could simply erase the memories of the initial trauma(s); you may hope that time will heal the emotional wounds that are causing such turmoil for your child. What is important to know, however, is that there are things you can do to help your child so that his or her future is not permanently affected by the symptoms of PTSD:
- Research or consult with a mental health professional about the impact of trauma on a child.
- Consider and look into viable options for treatment that are specialized in caring for youth with this condition.
- Talk to your child about how he or she is feeling. Sometimes children and adolescents will avoid talking about the trauma or their fears because the emotions associated with those topics are scary or overwhelming. However, he or she may not be ready to talk yet, in which case convey that you are there to talk if need be.
- Be honest, compassionate, empathetic, and optimistic with your child in the event you are intending on engaging him or her in treatment.
- Be part of your child’s care.
Following through on these suggestions poses a number of advantages for your child if he or she is suffering from PTSD. Remember, you are your child’s greatest advocate and seeking treatment for a child grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the best ways to demonstrate advocacy and help your child find relief from this impairing mental health condition.
Why Consider Treatment at Millcreek Behavioral Health
When a child or adolescent endures a trauma or traumas, a misconception is that he or she will be resilient enough to overcome it. However, unlike many adults, young people lack the tools and skills to deal with unpleasant feelings that ensue once a trauma has occurred. In fact, some children and adolescents may not even realize the benefits of simply talking about their fears, anxieties, or other emotions that can be brought on by trauma. When effective coping skills are lacking, and especially when a young person does not have an appropriate amount of support around him or her, the symptoms of PTSD that can manifest after a trauma can come in the forms of behavior problems or intense emotional outbursts. Additionally, young people with PTSD are more susceptible to abusing substances as being under the influence can offer a false sense of relief or escape from the emotional unrest of surviving a trauma(s). What is important to know, however, is that there are effective options for care that can alleviate symptoms of PTSD and reduce the likelihood of negative effects on a child or adolescent’s life.
One therapeutic environment in which a young person can realize the benefits of processing emotions and thoughts about trauma is in a psychiatric residential treatment setting. Within this type of care, experienced and qualified mental health professionals are available 24 hours a day to help young people understand and persevere through the distressing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, psychiatric residential treatment allows children and adolescents to have access to psychiatrists who can determine if medication is necessary to alleviate the symptoms of this disorder. Because children and adolescents reside within this type of treatment, any medications prescribed can be monitored and changed so as to ensure the effectiveness of any medication that is recommended during treatment. Lastly, parents and caregivers are able to receive education, support, and guidance for how they can help their child long after treatment is completed. While intensive in nature, psychiatric residential treatment is one such option for care that can greatly improved the lives of youth who are suffering from PTSD.
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 reward 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: In some cases, children who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may find relief from their symptoms through the implementation of certain psychotropic medications. 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.