Acute Inpatient Care for Children and Adolescents
Sometimes a child’s mental health condition is overwhelming or uncontrollable. They may need a secure environment outside of the home to deal with their mental health problems or substance use disorder.
West Hills Behavioral Health Hospital offers acute inpatient mental health care for children ages 5–14 and adolescents ages 15–17. Inpatient hospitalization is a short-term treatment designed to stabilize the most severe symptoms quickly. This allows a quick transition to less intensive levels of care.
A physician will determine that a patient cannot be safely and effectively treated on an outpatient basis. At this point, acute inpatient hospitalization is recommended and encouraged. It provides patients with the most intense level of care available.
This includes 24-hour skilled nursing observation, daily oversight by a psychiatrist and coordinated treatment. Treatment is administered by a physician-led team of mental health professionals.
Dual diagnosis programs are also available at West Hills Behavioral Health Hospital for adolescents with a secondary chemical dependency diagnosis. We offer addiction treatment for common substance abuse problems, including addictions to prescription drugs, illegal drugs or alcohol. Please visit the Nation Institute on Drug Abuse for additional information on the signs of addiction and substance abuse in children and teens.
The mental health treatment plan for children and adolescents features an integrated treatment curriculum. This includes interactive treatment modalities that support and discuss:
- Dealing with Feelings
- Dealing with Anger
- Coping Skills
Advantages of acute inpatient treatment:
- Evaluations and admissions available 24/7
- Personalized treatment team, including licensed clinician, registered nurses, a psychiatrist and allied therapy
- Full schedule of group psychotherapy and psychoeducation
- Structured supervised playtime for children
- Recreation therapy including music, movement and relaxation
- Controlled, structured environment
- 24-hour skilled nursing care
- Physician-led multidisciplinary treatment team
- Indoor and outdoor supervised recreation
- Youth counseling collaboration and coordination with all state, county and community youth services
- Continuum of care collaboration through Willow Springs Center, a residential and outpatient treatment center
- Medicaid and private insurance are accepted
We understand that families and caregivers may have concerns about placing their child in someone else’s care for acute inpatient mental health services, even if it’s not long term. We work closely with parents, guardians and social workers to keep them informed. We want them involved while their child or teen is receiving inpatient care for a mental disorder and/or addiction issue.
Family participation is vital to the recovery process. We rely on parents, guardians and loved ones to help patients practice learned skills at home. They become partners in treatment and help with discharge and aftercare planning where possible. It may seem overwhelming at first, but our team is here to help from assessment to discharge.