Child and Adolescent Mental Health
The Betty Hardwick Center contracts with the Texas Department of State Health Services to provide quality family-focused, community-based mental health services and supports to children and their families. Services are delivered using the Texas' Recovery and Resiliency (TRR) model that determines who is eligible for various types and amounts of services. The following services are included in the array -
Crisis hotline: A telephone service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week that you can call to get help if your child is experiencing a psychiatric crisis. Locally, this number is 1-800-758-3344.
A process where a Betty Hardwick Center staff person talks to you and your child, either face-to-face or over the phone, to gather information to find out if there is a need for a detailed mental health assessment. If you are not the parent, but the legally authorized representative, the staff person will talk with you.
There are several steps to completing an assessment. The first part is to determine whether or not your child is eligible for services from the local mental health authority. In order to be eligible, your child must meet the definition of "priority population." To be in the priority population, your child must be between the ages of 3 through 17 with a diagnosis of mental illness who exhibit serious emotional, behavioral or mental disorders and who:
- Have a serious functional impairment
- Are at risk of disruption of a preferred living or child care environment due to psychiatric symptoms: or
- Are enrolled in a school system's special education program because of a serious emotional disturbance.
A licensed professional will meet with you and your child face-to-face to ask you questions about your child's mental health, emotional and behavioral issues, their relationships at home and with friends, their health, their development, their schoolwork and other information needed to complete the assessment.
The Betty Hardwick Center provides services that help your child access needed resources and services. For children with less intensive needs, this service is called case coordination. The case manager will also coordinate your child's treatment, provide continuity of services, and plan for the services needed by your child when he/she completes their treatment.
For children with more intensive needs, the Betty Hardwick Center provides case management to help your child access needed medical, social, educational and other appropriate services that will help your child achieve a quality of life and community participation acceptable to you and your child. Case Managers also coordinate your child's treatment, provide continuity of care and develop a plan for the services needed by your child when he/she completes his/her treatment.
Your Case Manager also:
- Helps you when there is a need for crisis prevention and management, by locating and coordinating emergency services in order to prevent the crisis from getting worse.
- Is responsible for monitoring the services your child receives to see if the services are effective, or if your child needs additional or different services.
- Is responsible for identifying and arranging for the delivery of the services and supports that you have discussed with them and that you believe will address the child's needs and desires.
Developing your child's' treatment plan is a collaborative process involving you, your child (if old enough to participate) and the staff person with whom you are working. It will include goals and objectives that are measurable, so that you and/or your child can tell if he or she is making progress. The treatment and supports should be individualized and reflect the needs and preferences of you and your child, focusing on his or her strengths.
Skills training provides your child the opportunity to learn and improve the skills that they need to function as appropriately and independently as possible in the community. Skills training is designed to maintain the child's quality of life. This service includes, but is not limited to activities and training to address their mental illness or the problems that result when their symptoms interfere with functioning in their living and learning environment. As much as possible, skills training should be done within a natural setting, such as home or school, rather than in the center's offices.
If your child is prescribed medication, there are several services that are provided as a part of your child's care:
- If he or she takes the medicine at the community center, a licensed nurse or other qualified and trained staff being supervised by a doctor or registered nurse will provide or administer it.
- This person will also be responsible for monitoring your child's medication, by assessing the impact of the medicine, including how well the medicine is working, if there are any side effects or adverse effects or if your child is experiencing any possible toxic reactions to the medicine.
- Appropriately trained staff will also teach your child and/or family member the knowledge and skills needed to be able to administer and monitor the medication at home.
- The doctor will be responsible for managing your child's medication to determine if is/her symptoms are staying the same, getting worse, getting better or clearing up completely. The doctor will evaluate the effectiveness of the prescribed medication, the dose (how much), the frequency (how often) and whether or not a different medication should be tried, and when.
- Your local mental health authority is responsible for ensuring that your child receives his/her prescribed psychoactive medication, under certain circumstances. Your child's medication will be provided to you if:
- you have no other means of paying for this medicine
- the medicine has been determined to be medically necessary
- it is prescribed by an authorized representative of the local mental health authority
- your child is receiving services and registered in TDMHMR's management information system, called CARE.
Hospital services provide 24-hour care to children who cannot be stabilized in a less restrictive environment. Services are designed to provide safety and security during an acute psychiatric crisis. The staff provides intensive interventions designed to relieve the child's acute symptoms so that the child can return to their community.
The following services may also be provided at your local mental health authority, depending on the resources that are available.
Wraparound planning is a way of delivering services, not a particular service or program. It is a way of planning treatment that focuses on the strengths of your child and your family. Your and your child decide who would be most helpful in participating on your child's "wraparound team" and, as a team, you identify the services and supports that are the best fit for meeting the needs of your child, and reflect your values and preferences. These services and supports will include informal and natural supports that are available within your community.
Individual, group and/or family counseling designed to resolve problems that result from the child's mental, emotional or behavioral disorder. An appropriately licensed professional will provide this service.
Family skills training:
Families may also receive skills training. Family training is provided face-to-face to the family of a child to help the family understand the effects and treatment of emotional, behavioral and mental disorders. The training is designed to improve the symptoms of the child's disorder.
Counseling, skills training or day treatment provided on a school campus.
Flexible community supports:
Supports provided to assist a family and their child to:
- identify and use non-clinical/non-professional community resources
- reduce the symptoms of the child's disorder(s)
- maintain the quality of life
- promote family integration
These flexible community supports must be based on the preferences of the child and family and focus on the outcomes that you have chosen. They must also be included as strategies in your individualized family plan of care for you and your child. The supports must be unavailable through other DSHS funding and not readily available through other social services resources, other agencies, natural community supports, volunteers or charitable contributions. Flexible community supports may include: mentors; tutors; family aides; specialized camps; temporary child-care; initial job development and placement activities; and transportation services.
For more information about how to access services, call 325-690-5100. Intake services are available on a walk-in basis, Monday- Friday, 8 a.m. -3:30 p.m.