Youth Eastside Services Programs
Youth & Family Counseling provides individual and group mental health treatment for youth experiencing emotional problems such as suicidal thinking, anxiety, family conflict, abuse (sexual, emotional, physical, neglect) and more. We strive to involve the family in a youth's treatment. We also provide help where youth are—in schools, community and teen centers and through home visits. Outcomes are carefully measured.
Substance Abuse Program includes state-certified Chemical Dependency Professionals who use evidence-based best practice assessment and treatment for youth. They also offer prevention and education services to youth and families in the community. In addition to counseling, YES also offers groups for parent support, recovery and treatment. Because YES provides both mental health and substance abuse treatment, we are especially qualified to support the growing number of youth with addiction and co-occurring mental health issues.
Prevention & Education Programs include community and school-based youth violence and teen dating violence prevention, Success Mentoring, Healthy Start to support young parents, Latino HEAT/Latinos Unidos aimed at youth facing high risk for gang involvement, and B-GLAD for youth struggling with their sexual identity. Peer educators are trained and deployed in our innovative PEACE (anti-bullying) and Teen Dating Violence programs. We offer parenting education and coaching to help parents be their most effective and prevent future problems.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
YES has added a highly regarded treatment method to its range of best-practice services for youth. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a proactive approach to counseling that engages the patient and aids him/her in setting goals and focusing on achieving them. This form of therapy proves remarkably helpful in enhancing quality of life and eliminating negative thought patterns. It is notably effective for the increasing number of teens in our community whose problems include self harm, such as “cutting” or suicide attempts.
Three YES counselors were trained in a 10-day intensive last fall and are actively participating in the DBT Eastside Consultation Group. This enables YES to provide a higher level of clinical support for clients whose assessed needs previously required us to refer them elsewhere. Our first DBT Skills Group for Teens was well received; in April 2013 a second DBT Skills Group was added to address high demand for this service. Our DBT cohort of counselors has worked to share new concepts and resources with other YES clinical staff.
This success is critically important in relation to a significant current need in our community. In February, March and April of 2013, mental health referrals to YES posted new monthly highs (as compared to the past five years). A higher than normal number of these included suicidal thoughts and/or youth self harm, which makes the expansion of these DBT resources even more valuable to youth experiencing serious emotional distress.