CHOC Gives Importance to Children Mental Health

Michael Peters
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
CHOC Gives Importance to Children Mental Health
Children’s mental health is just as important as their physical health. Thanks to the kind support of you and other friends. CHOC is leading the charge to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
 
We’re helping those like Carissa. While in high school, then teen was becoming withdrawn and not eating. Her weight had plummeted. Then, one night when Carissa was getting ready for bed, her mother Candice recalls how “she just completely fell over in my arms. At that time, I didn’t know anything about her trauma.”
 
While undergoing tests at the hospital, Carissa finally told her story of abuse at the hands of a family member, which had driven her to suicidal thoughts. That was when Candice, who’s a single mom, understood the true depth of what her daughter had been struggling with.
 
Carissa was admitted to CHOC’s acclaimed Cherese Mari Laulhere Mental Health Inpatient Center. The Center is the first pediatric inpatient psychiatric facility in Orange County and treats children ages 3-17 who are at immediate risk of hurting themselves or others.
 
After being discharged, Carissa took part in our intensive outpatient program (IOP).
 
Developed through the charitable dollars of donors like you, IOP is designed to meet the needs of high schoolers experiencing significant mental and emotional health conditions. The eight-week program – which includes both one-on-one and group settings – is held after school, four days a week. Their caregivers are also involved, meeting twice a week.
 
In the process, child and caregiver alike learn a range of new skills that have been personalized for them. They can then use these tools to respond to strong emotions and stressful times.
 
With hard work, and through a series of additional crises. Carissa thrived under the customized care plan and treatment she received from CHOC.
 
Two years later, Carissa has now graduated high school and is on a positive path. She has her eye on college and a nursing career.

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