Over the last few years, studies have proven that we have a mental health crisis for children and adults alike. We have identified this as an important issue to address, but the next question is how to address is. Parents can often come up empty-handed in the search for insurance-covered psychiatrists. Many rural communities don’t even have child psychiatrists.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists reports that Tennessee has a severe shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists. In fact, the entire state only has 121 child and adolescent psychiatrists for more than 1.5 million children under the age of 18, leaving, eight practitioners to every 100,000 children ratio. Almost all the rural counties in the state, including around Nashville, have zero child and adolescent psychiatrists practicing.
This is where Youth Villages intensive home services, Intercept, can come in to meet the needs. Children who have serious emotional and behavioral problems or who have experienced trauma including abuse and/or neglect can qualify for the program.
Intercept provides intensive in-home parenting skills and coping skills for parents and children. With highly trained and qualified specialists, families can practice conflict management and resolution, and improve communication skills. Families with children ranging from newborn to 18 years old can participate in the program.
With Intercept, your assigned family intervention specialist will come to your house at a time that works for your family. The program typically lasts four to six months with regular meetings and planned assessment to make sure goals are being met. Together, the family and the specialist will develop a treatment plan with a priority on safety and long-term success in a stable home.
The ultimate goal of Intercept is to keep the children in the home with newly acquired conflict resolution skills, instead of the alternative of foster care or state custody. In 2020, a study from The Center for State Child Welfare Data commissioned by the state of Tennessee showed that Intercept significantly reduces out-of-home placement odds, particularly in the three to six months after referral. Furthermore, the studies showed that the home security is sustained up to one year after intervention occurs.
Youth Villages offers a 24/7 crisis support line staffed by master’s-level clinicians who can assess the situation efficiently and effectively, make sure everyone is safe and provide next steps for a care plan, whether that involves in-patient care or a therapy plan. The crisis services staff provides assessment and evaluation of children and youth, up to age 18, who are experiencing a psychiatric emergency. Our support system state-wide is connected so you and your loved one can benefit from that alignment. Parents or guardians need to be a part of the treatment plan for it to work.
Anyone in crisis or searching for help for someone in crisis can call the Tennessee Statewide Crisis Hotline:
Crisis TextLine – Text “TN” to 741741
Youth Villages is one of the largest providers of services to children in Tennessee and a national leader in children’s mental and behavioral health. The organization has been recognized by the Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations. Learn more at www.youthvillages.org.
Crisis services are available 24/7 if your child needs support. Call 855-CRISIS-1 or text CONNECT to 741741. If you have thoughts of suicide, contact 988 to be connected to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.