- Program is grounded in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Safe and secure environment
- Contact with a child and adolescent psychiatrist at least six days/week
- Individualized and evidence-based treatment
- Diagnostic clarification
- Psychological/neuropsychological, psychiatric, nursing, and educational assessment
- Compilation of a comprehensive multi-disciplinary report consisting of individualized recommendations to guide future treatment
- Teaching and practicing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skill sets
- Individual, family, group, and expressive therapies
- ROPES course experience
- Provides the vision for a path to wellness by gaining a comprehensive understanding of the individual child
Frequently Asked Questions
The CAT Program for youth ages 4-17 at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) is a clinical program designed to help gain an understanding of a youth’s mental health and behavioral issues. It is designed as a four to six-week program with a multidisciplinary team that works closely together to evaluate the youth, accurately identify their diagnoses, and actively begin treatment. We have expertise including, but not limited to, the following problems:
- Mood disorders (e.g., depression, bipolar disorders),
- Anxiety disorders (e.g., generalized anxiety disorder, OCD,),
- Psychosis and thought disorders (e.g., schizophrenia),
- Autism spectrum disorders,
- Trauma-related issues (e.g., PTSD),
- Personality and identity development challenges
- Substance abuse
Our strong psychiatric presence and multi-disciplinary approach help us stand out from other programs. Unlike many other assessment programs, our CAT Program’s psychiatric providers are child and adolescent psychiatrists who meet with the child and communicate with the treatment team at least six days per week. As a free-standing psychiatric hospital, we are also equipped to provide a higher level of safety and supervision than other assessment programs. Our 24-hour nursing care helps us closely monitor medication changes and effects, and provide care for youth with some chronic medical conditions that cannot be safely cared for at other assessment programs.
What the CAT Program is NOT
The CAT program is not a substitute for an acute inpatient psychiatric admission. The CAT program can help stabilize a youth and identify underlying medical and psychiatric conditions; however, a comprehensive and full assessment cannot be done in the duration of time limited by an acute inpatient hospitalization. Insurance companies do not often authorize inpatient psychiatric hospitalization beyond three to 10 days. While much good can be done in this timeframe, it does not lend itself to more expansive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions that the CAT program is designed to implement.
An individualized treatment plan will be created for each child, which focuses on goals that target their issues and diagnoses. We will consult with former providers and review previous records and assessments to obtain a clear understanding of your child’s treatment history.
We will diagnose your child using:
- clinical interviews,
- psychiatric evaluation, and
- psychological/neuropsychological assessment.
This diagnostic clarity allows us to recommend the most appropriate evidence-based treatment options available.
Your child’s treatment in the CAT program will involve:
- individual therapy,
- family therapy,
- group therapy, and
- will often include medication evaluation and management.
Our psychiatrists will discuss medication recommendations with parents or guardians prior to initiating or adjusting any medication.
Academics are an important component to a youth’s life. However, at the time of admission, academics are often a secondary concern due to the child's often unclear diagnostic picture and his or her difficulties with day-to-day functioning.
As part of our assessment, the team education specialist will:
- review past academic records,
- evaluate current academic functioning, and
- develop an academic plan.
Once the youth has stabilized, our education specialist will re-integrate school lessons back into the youth's life. Our education specialist facilitates a 75-minute formal classroom experience five days a week to assess a child's learning strengths and weaknesses to guide their future academic recommendations.
Adolescents between 13–17 years old receive treatment in our adolescent inpatient CAT unit. Children between the ages of 4–12 receive treatment in our child inpatient unit. The youth that make up our program seek out treatment for a variety of mental health issues. The make-up of our social environment is an important element in our program, and it is a consideration in our admission review process. Every parent is concerned about what type of environment their child will be in, and we are confident that our social environment and individualized treatment program provides a very healing therapeutic atmosphere.
The involvement of families is paramount in the treatment of each child and adolescent in our program and is more likely to lead to better outcomes. We strongly encourage families to be involved as much as possible, as it is essential in helping to understand and assess the youth’s behavioral issues and mental health.
The family’s involvement begins when an intake meeting is scheduled with the treatment team where we will discuss treatment goals and presenting issues. Throughout the course of treatment, families will have frequent communication with their child and the treatment team. We typically host weekly family psychotherapy sessions, either in-person or via a HIPPA-compliant video-conferencing platform. It may not always be practical or clinically indicated for regular family visits since many of the youth in our program come from all across the country as well as internationally. However, even when work is done remotely, we encourage frequent contact between the family and multiple members of the treatment team, throughout the admission
When available, previous treatment records can be very helpful in reviewing past assessment results, medication trials, and treatment history. Gathering these records and providing them prior to admission can help guide the treatment team in planning and beginning the assessment process efficiently.
Due to HIPPA laws, other facilities cannot send us records they didn’t generate—meaning even if the last placement had received copies of all of your child’s past records, they can only send their own records. As a result, we strongly encourage all parents or guardians to keep a master file with copies of all of your child’s treatment records. When your child is discharged from our program, we will provide a comprehensive multi-disciplinary report within 10–14 business days. If requested, we will also send this report to your child’s next provider(s) and/or educational consultant.
Inside Our Youth Programs
Contact HMHI about Our Youth Mental Health Programs
We want to ensure that your child gets quality care that best fits their mental health needs. If you’re not sure which mental health program is most appropriate for your child, please call us at 801-583-2500.
If your child is experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors or is in immediate danger of harming themself or others, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or Utah Crisis Line at 801-587-3000.