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Patient Information for Child and Adolescent Services at MUPC


Inpatient treatment

Treatment goals
Our facility is designed for children and adolescents who cannot be safely treated in a less-restrictive environment. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive evaluation, stabilization, short-term treatment and to make arrangements for ongoing treatment after discharge. The children/adolescent unit at the Missouri Psychiatric Center provides both inpatient and day treatment programs. The unit has 13 inpatient beds for youth ages 5 through 17. We serve children and adolescents who are in crisis and who pose a serious danger to themselves or others because of their problems.

Treatment team
The patient's attending physician is a child psychiatrist who is a medical doctor. Other team members include a child psychiatrist who is completing additional fellowship training and a resident who is a medical doctor completing specialized training in child psychiatry. Nursing staff will monitor and document the patient's basic health needs, and assist with medications. A social worker can provide counseling and education. A psychologist provides counseling and may administer psychological tests. Occupational therapists, special education teachers and therapeutic recreation specialists are also part of the team.

Child and adolescent treatment program
Children and adolescents are evaluated when they are admitted and throughout their stay. Information may be gathered from the child, parents, other agencies working with the child and the child's school. Informal observation of the child as well as formal questionnaires or tests may be used. Each day's structured schedule includes planned activities, free time, hygiene time, meals, visiting times and sleep time.

Depending on the child or adolescent's needs, treatment options may include medication management, group therapy, individual therapy and family therapy. Youth have opportunities for recreation and physical activities daily. They also receive daily educational instruction from teachers at our facility who work with the child's home school. When a child or adolescent is discharged, our team provides an aftercare plan to parents or guardians.

The adolescent program has adapted dialectic behavior therapy (DBT) as the framework for treatment, including the core strategies of validation and problem solving, and teaching mindfulness and distress tolerance skills. DBT is an evidence-based behavioral therapy that is effective with emotionally dysregulated, behaviorally dysregulated and suicidal individuals.

Outpatient treatment

The MUPC Child and Adolescent Outpatient clinic is located adjacent to University Hospital in Columbia, Mo. Children are evaluated and treated by an attending child and adolescent psychiatrist. Some children will be evaluated and treated by a child psychiatry fellow or a general psychiatry resident under the supervision of an attending child and adolescent psychiatrist. Primary treatment includes medication management. Referrals are made to community providers for therapy. To contact the outpatient clinic, please call (573) 884-1130. 




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