UTHealth Houston Harris County Psychiatric Center

Child & Adolescent Program

AdolescentsHCPCWe provide a supportive environment for children (age 3-12) and adolescents (age 13-17), where they and their families have an opportunity to better understand their illness and begin learning skills to better cope with life-issues that may threaten their mental health. Their treatment team focuses on the assessment and stabilization of those in all levels of crisis, within a safe, secure, structured, and small group milieu. 

In addition to specialty trained Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, a unique feature of HCPC's Child & Adolescent Services is our ability to provide patients access to, and support from, our academic psychology services. The Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and Psychologists are full-time staff at the hospital, allowing unprecedented availability to patients and families.

Group, family and individual therapy are evidence-based interventions designed to educate patients’ families about their psychiatric conditions, gain insight into feelings and conflict, increase patients’ ability to identify and utilize effective coping skills in response to difficult situations, teach skills necessary to better handle interpersonal conflicts, and develop more adaptive styles of behavior. In addition to psychology services, other therapeutic services are provided to the youth from our recreational therapists, chaplain, pharmacy, volunteer service, dieticians and social service clinicians. This multidisciplinary effort is designed to comprehensively address the mental health needs of our patients and their families.

Patients are encouraged to express feelings, accept responsibility and identify the consequences of personal behavior as part of their individualized treatment plan. During their stay, their treatment team, including doctors,social service clinicians, nurses and psychologists, makes a complete assessment, including consideration of the possible role of medication, and recommends best options for continued care after discharge. In addition, individualized case management services are provided to patients and their families to locate and smoothly assist in the transition to appropriate aftercare services after discharge.

Children and adolescents treated at HCPC suffer from any of the following disorders:

  • Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)
  • Schizophrenia and other Psychotic Disorders
  • Depressive Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Disruptive Behavior Disorders
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Co-occurring disorders.

Many children participating in the HCPC program also struggle with issues related to:

  • Substance abuse
  • Sexual, physical and emotional abuse
  • Life-threatening situations or trauma
  • Suicide attempts and suicidal ideation
  • Family relationship issues
  • School difficulties
  • Intellectual difficulties
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Evaluation services may include, as warranted:

  • Psychiatric evaluations
  • Physical examinations
  • Blood tests and EEGs
  • Psychological assessments
  • Neuropsychological testing
  • Activity therapy evaluations
  • Learning disabilities evaluations
  • Pharmacological reviews
  • Substance abuse evaluations
  • Family assessments
  • Structured diagnostic interviews.

Inpatient program features in Child & Adolescent Services include:

  • Board eligible or certified child/adolescent psychiatrist-directed treatment
  • Multi-disciplinary team approach, including psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists, social service clinicians, chaplains, dieticians, therapists, recreational therapists and pharmacists
  • Continuum of care providing inpatient care and out-patient referral
  • Individualized treatment plans
  • Individual, family and group therapy
  • 24-hour care including an in-house physician at all times
  • Recreational therapy
  • Psychoeducation
  • Family participation.