Child and Adolescent Services

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130 Mill Center Blvd, Athens, GA 30622


 

2016 APEX Mental Health Summit:

To view the 2016 APEX Mental Health Summit PowerPoint presentation, click HERE.


Advantage serves children, adolescents, and families who are dealing with behavioral problems, emotional disorders, and substance abuse. We focus on helping youth and their families through the challenges they encounter by using an evidence-based system of care.

We work with children from age 4-years whose emotional or behavioral issues limit their daily functioning in the home, school, and community. We work to support their parents and other caregivers.

Examples of problems for which we have a long history of successful intervention include hyperactivity, aggression, poor social skills, low self-esteem, mood swings, depression, anxiety, anger, trauma history, family conflict, alcohol/drug use, self-injurious behaviors, and suicidal ideation.

Assessment:
You and your child will first participate in a thorough assessment of your child’s and family’s strengths and needs with a Master’s-level clinician. We will work with you to develop a specific plan for helping you with your current challenges, detailing which services we agree you and your child will participate in to address your needs.
We also provide comprehensive psychological evaluations. Typically, these are for times when you and your provider want another opinion for teasing out the complex challenges you are facing and guiding treatment, especially when several months of services have not shown improvement as quickly as you and your team expect.

Therapy and Supports:
We offer a variety of services to meet your needs. We will work with you to determine what services will work best with your family and your child’s needs. We use a team approach, combining services whenever needed.

Substance Abuse Services
Adolescents who are using or abusing alcohol or other substances receive specialized services. With a combination of group, individual, and family therapies, we work to educate the teen and family about addiction and address his or her abuse/addiction issues. We emphasize the reduction in use and abuse and/or continued abstinence; the negative consequences of substance abuse; the development of social support networks and necessary lifestyle changes; social and interpersonal skills; and continued commitment to recovery. Staff work closely with Juvenile Courts, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Family and Child Services, schools, and families to reduce the risks of alcohol and other drug use. Our services are designed to restore balance to your teen’s life when it has become impaired by drug use and dependency.

Outreach Support
As a long-standing member of the community, we maintain active partnerships with the systems that are involved in children’s lives. We are often called as experts to consult with the schools, hospitals, private providers, medical professionals, public agencies, and local non-profits to help with a community need or even an individual case. Therefore, we can help coordinate services and resources in the area with your involvement, maintaining your privacy as you decide. Often, these partnerships are vital in connecting you to additional resources to help your child and family in recovery, for greater independence and satisfaction.

Crisis Intervention
If ever you feel unsafe because of thoughts, emotions, or behaviors, we want to help make sure you become or stay safe. We provide crisis assessments to children and adolescents, such as when a youth voices suicidal ideation or has a significant outburst that threatens the safety of him- or her-self. We serve as risk assessors and primary point of contact for mental health crises in the community.
Simply walk in with your child when you need help. For after-hours crisis needs, call the Georgia Behavioral Health Link Systems at 1-800-715-4225.

Medical Services
Depending on treatment needs, medical services may be provided. This may include physician and nursing assessment, medication assistance programs, and medication management. For children and adolescents, we typically provide medication as an additional service to other supports for your mental health needs. When you are ready to graduate from services, we work with you to connect with community resources if you continue to need medication to remain stable and maintain your success.

Integrating physical and mental health services is a growing movement across the nation, and Advantage has been one of the first in Georgia to make this work! We joined with Athens Neighborhood Health Center and Medlink to jointly provide mental health services to youth and families with physical health services. This is often a more convenient way for you to get the supports you need for a variety of reasons, including location of services and better communication with your primary care provider. Services include health screenings, ongoing care, community linkage, support groups, assessment, and therapy. Integrating your services allows us to better serve your child as a whole person, promoting overall well-being.