Compass Health Center to Launch After School Mental Health & Substance Use Program for Teens in Chicago to Help Destigmatize Treatment for Co-Occurring Conditions

Compass Health Center is launching a new After School Mental Health & Substance Use Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for adolescents this June due to the increased need for specialized treatment for co-occurring disorders for teens. The program will support adolescents, ages 13 to 18, struggling with anxiety and/or depressive symptoms alongside substance use negatively impacting their functioning. This program is offered after school so that teens can continue attending school while effectively treating their mental health and substance use symptoms. Over the summer, Compass will offer this program during the day. 

Based on research done by the National Library of Medicine, teens with substance use disorders have higher rates of depression than teenagers without.  

"Our adolescent programs are well versed in the important work of supporting teens who are struggling with their mental health. Too frequently, we see them using substances to cope with anxiety and depression," said Ann Bystedt, LCSW, Senior Director of Child and Adolescent Programs, Compass Health Center - Chicago. "In our co-occurring treatment program that simultaneously targets mental health and substance use, teens learn skills and engage in process groups aimed at increasing understanding and teaching effective ways to manage symptoms." 

Compass patients ages 5 through 18 successfully complete the program and experience a significant reduction (36-40 percent decrease) in depression and anxiety symptoms. In addition, 95 percent of adolescents in Compass programming avoid hospitalization due to mental health symptoms. With the appropriate level of mental health care for their needs, teens get better and stay better. 

"Since Compass opened in Chicago, we've seen the need for more support in the city for our adolescents who struggle with substance use alongside their mood and anxiety concerns. With the prevalence, availability, and access to substances, especially cannabis, so high, we've seen more and more kids leaning on substance use to cope with depression and anxiety. Many teenagers are actively interested in addressing these issues, and we are excited to serve them and their families as they seek to learn healthier ways to manage," said Adam Honecker, Director of Adolescent Programs, Compass Health Center - Chicago. 

For many teenagers and their families, it feels like there's nowhere to turn for those looking to address substance use issues while also tackling problems with depression and/or anxiety, Honecker further explained.   

"We've heard the feedback and seen it within our own experience that it can feel like the only options are those that feel too extreme, such as hospital-based or residential treatment, so we are excited to better serve those patients who want to address their substance use and mental health concerns but are also able to remain in school and home safely," Honecker said. 

Compass's Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and IOP programs use psychiatric care and evidence-based, effective therapy models to help individuals reduce symptoms, achieve their treatment goals while staying in school, and better understand the relationship between their mental health and substance use.   

Contact Information:
Britt Teasdale
Associate Director, Brand Management, Compass Health Center
[email protected]
Phone 216-926-0550

Original Source: Compass Health Center to Launch After School Mental Health & Substance Use Program for Teens in Chicago to Help Destigmatize Treatment for Co-Occurring Conditions
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