Mercy Behavioral Child Play room

Behavioral Health Child and Adolescent Services

Adult Services | Alcohol & Substance Abuse | Child & Adolescents

Seeking treatment for children or adolescents struggling with psychiatric, substance abuse or other behavioral health problems can be confusing and difficult for many parents. At Mercy Behavioral Health, your family will encounter friendly, reassuring staff prepared to provide your child with effective treatment options and positive outcomes.

Parents searching for answers can trust the professionals at Mercy Behavioral Health. The multidisciplinary team – including a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, nurses, social workers, case managers, psychiatric technicians and substance abuse counselors – work together to identify your child’s needs, define a treatment plan and offer the best care in the least restrictive manner possible.

Teen Suicide

Young adults experiencing depression, displaying aggressive or disruptive behavior and/or under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be at an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and action. Intervention by a concerned adult lets teens know that people care about them and are concerned for their well-being. The professionals at Mercy Behavioral Health are dedicated to helping young adults and can provide treatment and counseling during these difficult times

Understanding ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition that causes children, teens and some adults to have difficulty paying attention and controlling their actions. ADHD is a biological disorder that appears to be genetically or developmentally based, with symptoms often beginning at birth. Symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fidgeting with hands or feet
  • Difficulty staying seated
  • Talking excessively
  • Difficulty listening
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty following instruction

Treating ADHD

The professionals at Mercy Behavioral Health are experts in treating ADHD in children and young adults. Treatment options include behavior modification, counseling and educational planning with schools. In addition, stimulant and non-stimulant medications may be prescribed to help patients by improving their attention span, decreasing the ability to become easily distracted, increasing the ability to listen and follow directions, and improving the ability to control their actions. Dosages and frequency of medication will vary depending on the specific needs of each individual child.

Learn more: Mercy Pediatric Neurology and Psychiatry Center


Child-Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program

The Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) provides an intense, structured, group setting for treatment of individuals who have difficulty maintaining their daily routines or who would otherwise require inpatient psychiatric treatment.   A thorough assessment can be completed to determine if PHP is the appropriate level of care.  PHP can be an entry point from outpatient treatment to stabilize symptoms, or as a transition from inpatient treatment.

A good candidate for the PHP program has:

  • An acute psychiatric disorder BUT is not at imminent risk for suicide or harm to others
  • The capacity to fully participate
  • A reasonable expectation of improvement
  • Transportation to and from the program daily

Program Details

The program runs five days a week, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with an hour for lunch. The average length of the program for each patient is 4 to 6 days. Each patient will be seen and evaluated by a psychiatrist and medications will be prescribed if indicated.

Patients can expect the following to occur each day:

  • Orientation for new participants
  • A group meeting to develop and review the daily schedule
  • Review of progress in treatment goals
  • Address concerns or challenges in meeting goals

Program Focus

  • Help improve coping skills, stress management, problem solving
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Develop more effective communication skills
  • Education about diagnosis, medications, symptom management

Coordination of Care

During treatment, staff will assist in developing discharge plans that will include follow up treatment and aftercare.

Access to Treatment

To access treatment, call the Help-center at (515) 271-6111 to make an appointment for an assessment.

(515) 247-3121
1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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