Children and adolescents who self-harm are often battling a form of mental illness. Parents, caregivers, and other loved ones who suspect or notice evidence of such behavior (e.g. cuts, scratches, burn marks, or wounds that do not heal properly) should heed indicators as warnings and seek mental health treatment in order to prevent a grave outcome. By seeking treatment, these young people can receive care for any existing mental health condition that could be causing a youth to engage in self-injury. Additionally, children and adolescents who self-mutilate can learn new and healthier methods for coping with inner turmoil. Southwood Psychiatric Hospital is a leading provider of mental health services for young people and includes specialized programming that aims to treat youth who are battling emotional, behavioral, and cognitive disturbances that could trigger the onset of self-harm. The methods used at this hospital are proven to effectively help young people grappling such concerns so that a healthy and happy life is the result.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Should a parent or caregiver realize that their child is purposely inflicting pain onto him or herself, a number of distressing emotions could emerge. As a parent or caregiver, you may fear for your child’s safety. You may be bewildered as to why your child would partake in such dangerous acts. You may even become frustrated that your child continues to engage in self-injurious behaviors despite making your support available to him or her. And while offering your support is a great way to help your child, there are some other things you can do to help your child get the care that he or she needs:
- Firstly, it is a good idea to establish a safety plan with your child. A safety plan can include telling your child to reach out to someone if he or she feels the urge to self-harm. Additionally, it is a good idea to have a plan in place in the event your child does self-harm. This plan can include seeking emergency medical attention or seeking out a psychiatric evaluation at a hospital.
- As a parent or caregiver, you can be your child’s advocate by considering mental health treatment and researching options for care that are able to successfully treat the mental disturbances that plague children and adolescents specifically.
- If you are unsure about the therapeutic process, you can contact a treatment provider of your choice to gather information about how young people with mental health concerns are treated and viable options for care that can meet your child’s needs.
- Select a treatment provider and start the process of admission as soon as possible. The sooner care is afforded to your child, the sooner he or she will be able to heal from the turmoil that is likely causing him or her to self-mutilate.
Finally, it is necessary that you remain a source of support and be patient during the therapeutic process. Your child needs you during this difficult time and by being supportive and patient, you are being of great service to your child and showing that you will be there for him or her no matter what.
Why Consider Treatment at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital
Self-injury is serious and should serve as a warning that something more problematic is occurring a person’s life. Young people who self-harm are often dealing with overwhelming emotions, do not know how to cope with them, and cause physical pain in response. Allowing this unhealthy form of coping to remain part of a youth’s life can render a number of perilous and life-threatening consequences. The symptoms of any existing mental health condition or conditions could certainly worsen and lead to the onset of suicidal ideations, of which could lead to an attempt at suicide. Additionally, should a young person battle urges to self-mutilate, additional problematic behavior could occur. Substance use could become a factor in a youth’s life and ongoing problems within interpersonal relationships could erupt. Academic performance can also be adversely affected as young people who self-harm often have a hard time concentrating on anything else but their self-injurious behaviors and desires to engage in them. On the bright side, however, there are invaluable treatment options available that can stabilize a youth, alleviate symptoms of an existing mental health problem, and replace self-harm with more appropriate tools for dealing with stress.
Types of Treatment Offered at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital
As a foremost provider of child and adolescent mental healthcare, Southwood Psychiatric Hospital is devoted to providing the most effective mental health treatment, education, and assisted living services to youth who are battling emotional, behavioral, and cognitive concerns that are unique to young people. We believe that it is necessary to address and care for every need for each of our patients so that the most favorable treatment outcomes are the result. We believe all people are capable of change and possess the capacity to learn new skills and abilities that can serve them well for a lifetime. Based on this belief, we facilitate a therapeutic environment that is conducive to healing and change so that each youth entrusted into our care has the opportunity to gain insight about his or her own life and develop positive skills for healthy functioning.
The methods for care utilized at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital include cognitive-behavioral approaches that implement crisis and reality theories. We believe that these approaches, coupled with a structured setting, produce lasting healing and promote interpersonal growth. Cornerstone to the care supplied by Southwood Psychiatric Hospital is individualized treatment planning within a therapeutic milieu that incorporates these approaches within several therapeutic methods. We also encourage each patient’s family to be involved in the therapeutic process so that every child and adolescent reaps the benefits of having ample support while bettering him or herself.
The following treatment methods are those that are featured within the programming offered at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital, methods that are proven to improve the lives of the population we serve:
Medication management: When symptoms of a mental health condition or other co-occurring condition require the use of pharmaceutical intervention in order to alleviate said symptoms, the use of medication may be incorporated into a youth’s treatment plan. The need for medication is assessed by a psychiatrist who can then prescribe, monitor, and adjust medication(s) if it is deemed necessary for a youth’s care. Additionally medical personnel, such as nurse practitioners and nurses, assist in the supervision of medication management so that the most effective dosage of a given medication produces the most favorable results. These professionals have contact with patients on a daily basis.
Individual therapy: Held every other day on the child and adolescent inpatient units, individual therapy sessions are afforded to patients so that one-on-one time with a mental health professional can be had in order to help each youth process emotions and monitor treatment goals while in our care. This is a time in which a young person can talk about his or her successes and explore areas for improvement.
Family therapy: The involvement of each patient’s family is integral to the treatment at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital. We facilitate family therapy sessions at least one to two times over the course of a youth’s treatment. During family sessions, youth, caregivers, and other loved ones can work through familial conflicts, improve communication, and learn how to work as a team in ensuring lasting recovery from mental health concerns that could be causing a youth to engage in self-harming behaviors. Additionally, we put forth every effort to make sure each young person in our care is able to have contact with his or her family at least once a day.
Group therapy: A myriad of groups are part of the treatment feature in our inpatient programming. Groups allow patients to practice new skills that have been learned, receive additional support from our staff as well as peers, and learn new methods for managing emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Groups are held four times a day and are led by Master’s level clinicians, nurses, and other experienced professionals. Topics covered within these groups include the following and are based on the cognitive-behavioral therapeutic approach:
- Diagnosis education
- Stress management techniques
- Social skill development
- Effective methods for coping
- Teamwork and team building skills
- The importance of and how to follow directions
- Recreation groups
- Anger management
- Medication education
Experiential therapy: In order to encourage creative expression and stress the benefits of physical activity, Southwood Psychiatric Hospital incorporates numerous experiential therapies into its inpatient programming. The following are examples of the experiential therapies patients are able to participate in during the course of treatment:
- Opportunities for recreation outside
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
While the programming offered within Southwood Psychiatric Hospital is focused on patients being able to achieve their treatment goals, we remain dedicated to helping those who come to our hospital for care in succeeding once they have completed their treatment. From the moment a youth is admitted into one of our programs, our staff begins formulating aftercare recommendations that will meet the child or adolescent’s needs. Inpatient treatment, by nature, is designed to stabilize a youth so that the therapeutic process can continue at a lower level of care. Therefore, we conduct an ongoing assessment of needs in order to ensure that referrals to another treatment provider will help a patient continue his or her success long after leaving Southwood Psychiatric Hospital.
Our staff of compassionate and caring professionals will work in collaboration with each youth and his or her family to establish how the youth will retain skills learned and which services in the community will refine and build upon those skills.
Whatever your child or adolescent’s mental health needs may be, let Southwood Psychiatric Hospital be your treatment provider of choice when trying to help your child achieve the life that he or she deserves.