Program Highlights

  • Program grounded in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • 24/7 supervised living setting
  • Contact with board-certified psychiatrists at least weekly
  • Individualized and evidence-based treatment
  • Diagnostic clarification
  • Psychological/neuropsychological, psychiatric, nursing, and educational/career/vocational assessment
  • Teaching and practicing skills in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Individual, family, group, and expressive therapies
  • ROPES course experience
  • Weekly integrative health education and instruction
  • Opportunities for community engagement, such as volunteering and recreational group outings
  • Providing the vision for a path to wellness by gaining a holistic understanding of the individual

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Young Adult Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment (YA CAT) Program?
Who is the treatment team?
What sort of treatment will an individual receive in the YA CAT Program?
What is the environment and peer group like in the YA CAT Program?
What can be done to prepare for admission to the YA CAT Program?

What is the Young Adult Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment (YA CAT) Program?

The YA CAT Program is a clinically sophisticated program designed to help gain an understanding of an individual's mental health and behavioral issues. It is designed as a four to eight-week program for young adults (ages 18-30). Our multidisciplinary team works closely together to evaluate the individual, accurately identify his or her diagnoses, and actively begin treatment. We have expertise in the following, but not limited to:

What the YA CAT Program is NOT

The YA CAT program is not a substitute for an acute inpatient psychiatric admission. This program can help stabilize an individual and identify the underlying medical and psychiatric conditions. However, it cannot be done in the typical duration of a few days for an acute inpatient hospitalization. While much good can be done in this timeframe, it does not lend itself to more expansive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions that the YA CAT program is designed to do.

Who is the treatment team?

Our treatment team consists of a:

  • board-certified psychiatrist,
  • psychologist,
  • social worker,
  • career/vocational specialist,
  • expressive therapists (music, art, and recreation therapy),
  • nurses,
  • psychiatric technicians, and
  • registered dietitian (as needed).

What sort of treatment will an individual receive in the YA CAT Program?

An customized treatment plan will be created for each individual based on his/her/their presentation and diagnoses. We will consult with former providers and review previous medical records and assessments to obtain a clear understanding of the individual.

We will make a diagnosis using:

  • observation,
  • clinical interviews,
  • psychiatric/medical evaluation, and
  • psychological/neuropsychological assessment.

This diagnostic clarity allows us to recommend the most appropriate evidence-based treatment options available.

Each individual's treatment in the YA 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 the individual prior to initiating or adjusting any medication.

What is the environment and peer group like in the YA CAT Program?

Young adults between the ages of 18-30 years old are housed in a supervised residential living environment. The individuals that make up our program seek out our treatment for a variety of mental health issues or behavioral representations. The make-up of our environment is an important element in our program, and is often a consideration in our admission reivew process. We are confident that our environment and individualized treatment program provides a healing therapeutic atmosphere for every individual in the program.

What can be done to prepare for admission to the YA CAT Program?

When available, previous medical records can be helpful in reviewing past assessment results, medication trials, and treatment history. Gathering these records can help guide our treatment team in beginning the assessment process efficiently. This gives our treatment team more time to review prior evaluations instead of spending time trying to obtain records. 

Due to HIPPA laws, other facilities cannot send us records they did not generate, which means that the last placement can only send their own records even if they have copies of an individual's records from elsewhere.

Family Involvement in the YA CAT Program

Family involvement is paramount in the treatment of each individual in our program. We strongly encourage families to be involved as much as possible, as it is essential in helping to understand the individual’s behavioral or mental health issues and help us assess each individual's needs.

Involvement with the family can greatly contribute to the overall treatment of each individual and is more likely to lead to positive outcomes. Family psychotherapy may be part of our assessment and treatment and is typically held weekly, 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 individuals in our program come from all across the country as well as internationally. However, our program specializes in the ability to incorporate family involvement with the assessment and treatment even when the work is done remotely.

Program Costs

The cost of our program is designed as a set daily rate that includes all common services from your treatment team, which include:

  • psychological/neuropsychological assessment,
  • psychiatric evaluation,
  • psychotherapy,
  • medications, 
  • professional fees, etc.

If there are nonstandard medical tests (such as MRIs or EEGs) or medical sub-specialists that a client needs, we will work with the individual's insurance to authorize these visits. However, they are not included in our daily rate. 

The UNI Business Office will be your point of contact for financial questions as we intentionally keep the treatment team focused on providing the best clinical care for our clients. Please call the business office for billing-related questions in regards to the CAT Program.

Virtual Tour

Young Adult CAT Program Team

TyJha Jackson, MPH

TyJha "Ty" Jackson is the Young Adult CAT admissions coordinator and outreach specialist at UNI. She has worked at UNI since 2010. She has a bachelor of science in psychology and health science minor from Clemson University and a master’s in public health from Westminster College. During graduate school, Ty was a part of the UNI nursing staff, working as a psychiatric technician on all inpatient units, as well as day treatment before her transition into outreach. Ty has lived in eight different states, spanning from California to New York. She enjoys learning about diverse cultures, while traveling and meeting new people.

Tina Halliday, LCSW

Tina Halliday is the admissions coordinator for the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment (CAT) Program in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has worked with UNI since 1999 and the CAT program since its inception in 2011. Tina graduated from the University of Utah, Graduate School of Social Work with her MSW. She has practiced for 30 years in the behavioral health field. She has provided direct clinical care to a variety of age groups and treated a variety of mental illnesses. Tina has also worked with Employee Assistance Programming throughout much of her career. This includes clinical services, management consultation, critical incident debriefing, and wellness seminar trainings to many employer groups. She enjoys her family, friends, and a variety of outdoor activities.

Rachelle Wilson, RN

Rachelle Wilson is the clinical director of University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute’s (UNI) Youth Services for inpatient care and is responsible for the management and coordination of nursing care for UNI’s Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment (UNI-CAT) Program. Rachelle holds a master’s degree in the science of nursing with a focus on leadership and management; she is also is a board-certified psychiatric nurse. She has worked in the CAT program from its beginning in 2011. She has over 20 years of psychiatric nursing experience and is passionate about child and adolescent psychiatric nursing care. Rachelle's professional mission and purpose is to provide leadership and direction to direct care providers following evidence based best practice standards to ensure an exceptional patient experience. Rachelle is a native to the Salt Lake Valley and appreciates all the activities this exquisite mountain setting has to offer.

Amanda Stoeckel, PhD

Dr. Amanda Stoeckel is a licensed psychologist and the clinical director/program manager for the Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment (CAT) Program at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute. She received her PhD in school psychology from the University of Northern Colorado and completed her doctoral internship at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute. Dr. Stoeckel completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Advanced Fellowship Program in mental illness research at the VISN 19 MIRECC VA Salt Lake City Health Care System. She has an adjunct faculty appointment at the University of Utah Department of Psychiatry. Her focus is overseeing and providing psychological services to youth and emerging adults within the CAT and Young Adult CAT Programs, and she has extensive training in psychological assessment. Dr. Stoeckel’s therapeutic orientation is typically based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

Chase Knaphus, LCSW

Chase Knaphus is the clinical director/program manager for the Young Adult Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment (YA CAT) program at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI). Chase is also a licensed clinical social worker, and received his MSW and MPA from the University of Utah. Chase has worked at UNI in a variety of roles since 2010, when he first started as a psychiatric technician. Chase is a passionate advocate for mental health treatment and in eliminating the stigmas surrounding it, and enjoys working with all age groups. His therapeutic orientation is based in cognitive-behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

Jaremy Stucki, RN

Jaremy Stucki is the Nurse Manager responsible for UNI’s Young Adult CAT Program. Jaremy joined University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) in 2010 as a psychiatric technician and worked with the adult population for 6 months before graduating with his nursing degree. He received his certification in Psychiatric –Mental Health Nursing in 2018. Jaremy completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Governors University in 2019. He worked on the child unit as a charge nurse at UNI for several years and loved his time working with the child population and their families. In 2017, Jaremy moved to the Nurse Educator, Clinical Nurse Coordinator, and Infection Preventionist roles at UNI. He is engaged in UNI’s Nursing Shared Governance Council and has served as the Co-Chair of Quality and Research Nursing Council. Jaremy helped create the UNI Staff Educational Series at UNI, which occurs twice a month and is designed to educate our frontline nursing staff about psychiatric mental health. In his time away from UNI, Jaremy enjoys spending time with his wife and four kids going camping and enjoying the beautiful outdoors of Utah

Laura Gilley, MD

Dr. Laura Gilley practices as a psychiatrist at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute’s (UNI) Young Adult Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Program (YA CAT). Dr. Gilley trained at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine for medical school and a 4-year adult psychiatry residency where she served as chief resident in 2008–2009. In 2009, she moved to Utah for specialty training in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine and served as chief resident in 2010–2011. Dr. Gilley joined the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, as faculty in 2011 where she has practiced as an inpatient psychiatrist at UNI, psychiatrist in the neurostimulation department at UNI and served as the Youth CAT Program medical director for three years.

Since 2010, Dr. Gilley has worked with multiple wilderness therapy programs and residential treatment programs in Utah and Oregon providing psychiatric consultation and follow up medication management for the youth and adults in these programs. Dr. Gilley has 10 years of experience in telemedicine as part of her psychiatric practice and is board-certified in adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry.

Dr. Gilley believes in a balanced approach in the assessment of patients and managing their psychiatric medications. This balance is achieved by gaining a comprehensive understanding of a patient’s history—listening to the patient and their family tell their story, coordinating with the patient’s past providers, collaborating with the YA CAT team and integrating the information together with the patient to formulate a plan. During visits with patients Dr. Gilley asks for their input on important topics to discuss and address then integrates these topics into the patient’s treatment plan. Dr. Gilley believes that empowering patients to be active in their treatment planning allows for the patient’s increased engagement and commitment to making change.

Catherine Van Tassel, LCSW PA-C

Catherine Van Tassell graduated from the University of Utah with a master's of social work degree in 2004. During her time as a medical social worker, working with end-stage renal patients, she was touched by each patient's story of how their chronic health condition changed everyday life. This lead her towards the medical profession, specifically the emergent need for preventive health care. As a result, she decided to further her education and graduated from the University of Utah Physician Assistant program in 2016. She continued her training by receiving a certificate in integrative medicine from the University of Arizona. Additionally, she earned two certificates in evidence based-nutrition from Harvard and Cornell Universities.

Catherine has completed several ultra-marathons, full distance Ironman triathlons, Lotoja (206-mile one-day bike race) and numerous marathons. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two dogs.

Jessica Farrar, PhD

Dr. Jessica Farrar earned her PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon. She completed her doctoral internship at Denver Health Medical Center with an adult clinical focus. Prior to joining the CAT team, Dr. Farrar worked at the Salt Lake City VA in Services for Outpatient Addiction Recovery providing individual and group psychotherapy for veterans with co-occurring substance use disorder and mental health diagnoses. Her clinical training and work experience have included individuals across the lifespan in a wide range of settings such as college counseling centers, residential treatment programs for children and adolescents, the Oregon State Hospital, a county adult correctional facility, and integrated medical settings.

Dr. Farrar holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the University of Utah Department of Psychiatry as well as teaches graduate courses for the Department of Educational Psychology. A biopsychosocial perspective serves as the primary foundation from which Dr. Farrar conceptualizes patients, her therapeutic interventions are grounded in acceptance-based behavioral therapies (e.g., acceptance and commitment therapy and dialectical behavior therapy), and she prioritizes a strengths-based approach regardless of an individual’s degree of difficulty.

Julia Martinez, CSW

Julia Martinez is a clinical social worker for the YA CAT Program through UNI. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Utah during which time she conducted research on the physiological correlates of mindfulness and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). She also co-founded a non-profit called Latino Behavioral Health Services (LBHS) during her undergraduate studies to help address the gap in services for Latinos in Utah. Julia completed her masters in social work at Portland State University where she completed internships at Impact Northwest and Janus Youth, where she supported high school students with job readiness and adolescent boys in residential treatment. After her graduate studies, Julia returned to LBHS as a therapist working with underserved Latino youth and families. She is passionate about equity and is currently coordinating diversity and cultural integration efforts on a volunteer basis with LBHS and the Utah Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Julia’s therapeutic orientation is a blend of humanist, relational and cognitive behavioral therapies including acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

Megan Moser, MTRS, CTRS

Megan is the recreation therapist for the Young Adult CAT program. She has been practicing recreation therapy since 2006. She graduated from Longwood University with a bachelor’s degree in recreation therapy and later completed a master’s degree in parks, recreation, and tourism at the Unversity of Utah. She is licensed in the state of Utah at the master’s level and nationally certified as a therapeutic recreation specialist (MTRS, CTRS). Throughout her career, she has worked with adolescents and adults in multiple mental health treatment settings. Megan is passionate about using a strengths based holistic approach while helping people find healthy and fulfilling leisure lifestyles. She also enjoys using outdoor recreation for teaching moments to link what is learned in therapy to how it can be practiced in real life situations. During her free time, Megan enjoys skiing, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, pottery, and live music. She enjoys being able to provide positive recreational opportunities to the patients at YA CAT.

Jacob Hansen, MST

Jacob Hansen is the education specialist in the CAT Program at the UNI. He is a certified secondary education teacher and has taught courses across the curriculum including history, math, the sciences, and literature. He earned his masters of science and technology degree at the University of Utah. Jacob has worked in the educational field with teens for nearly 10 years as a wilderness guide, a classroom teacher, and as a director of local tutoring organizations.

Jacob takes an adaptive approach to learning. He works to establish a growth mindset in each student he works with in the CAT program. He enjoys reading history and the sciences and fixing up his old house. He can often be found traveling around the mountains and deserts in the West.

Daniel Blair

Daniel Blair is the administrative assistant for the Young Adult CAT program.  He earned his bachelor’s of science in psychology and business management from Southern Utah University and his master’s in industrial-organizational psychology from Eastern Kentucky University.  He has been a team member with the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute since 2017 working as a psychiatric technician on all youth inpatient units before transitioning over to the Young Adult CAT program.  In Daniel’s free time, he loves to travel, spend time outdoors with his dogs, and consistently be learning new things.

Holly Badger, TRS, CTRS

Holly Badger is the expressive therapies manager at UNI. Holly received her bachelor’s degree in recreation from the University of Utah. She is licensed and nationally certified as a therapeutic recreation specialist (TRS, CTRS). Holly has worked at UNI since 1997. She has facilitated groups with patients of all ages in both inpatient and outpatient. She has extensive experience using the UNI ROPES course with groups of patients, University students, staff, faculty, and corporate teams.

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