Children's Behavioral Health Clinic increases access to mental h

Children's Behavioral Health Clinic increases access to mental health care for families

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports one in six children between the ages of two and eight has a mental, behavioral or developmental disorder. 

Texas Tech's Couple, Marriage and Family Therapy program, the Department of Psychological Sciences and UMC have partnered together in establishing the Children's Behavioral Health Clinic

"Children that are exposed to traumatic experiences, either witnessing them directly or are a part of a traumatic experience, have risk of developing PTSD," Nicole Piland, Director of Texas Tech's Family Therapy Clinic, said. 

Piland said she saw a need to prevent pediatric patients from becoming victims of mental or behavioral disorders. 

"If we can screen them at the point of hospital admission and then do a follow up to determine whether or not they're developing symptoms, we can prevent potentially the escalation of symptomology that becomes an impairment to their day to day functioning," she said.

She said development of these symptoms could affect how children function academically, socially and relationally. 

Victims from trauma from across our area are often brought to UMC for treatment. 

"UMC functions as a level one trauma hospital," Piland said. "There are a lot of families that are flown in or brought in from the surrounding communities, counties and even Eastern New Mexico to get medical trauma services." 

So the hospital's stepping in to continue patients' treatment after they're discharged from the hospital. The clinic's expected to offer teletherapy starting early next year. It'll ensure its services are easily accessible to those families. 

"So teletherapy will allow us, and them, to get access to us to receive services that may not even be available in their communities," Piland said. 

Services provided include: psycho-education related to medical trauma, trauma-related assessment, support groups, coping with acute and chronic medical issues, management of depression and anxiety, dealing with physical and emotional trauma and therapy related to family violence, grief and loss.

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