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El Camino Hospital Los Gatos Begins Senior, Youth Mental Health Programs

Anxiety and depression among ailments to be treated among both populations beginning in March.

is launching two popular mental health programs in March for older adults and teenagers.

Both will be outpatient programs and will provide services four days a week, according to hospital officials.

The Older Adult Transition Services program is geared toward seniors, ages 55 and older, who suffer acute mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety, mood changes, or panic.

Hospital officials say those helped by the program will be seniors who have generally not responded to traditional interventions such as office-based medication therapy, counseling, and/or support groups.

The older adult patients frequently have other medical conditions, and treatment will be carefully coordinated with their medical doctors. All patients will be seen regularly by a psychiatrist with training in the older adult population.

The 12-week program will be offered during the day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and will accept all major insurances, including Medicare.

After School Program Interventions and Resiliency Education will serve youth between the ages of 13 and 18 for eight weeks, four afternoons a week, 3-6 p.m.

Its goal is to provide meaningful and effective treatment for teenagers who experience anxiety, depression or other symptoms that are significant enough to cause problems such as school failure, reckless behavior, substance abuse, or suicidal thoughts.

The program is provided after school, a time when symptoms can often escalate and there is often less ability of parents to help. As with the older adult program, the hospital will accept all insurances.

"We have had great success with both of these programs at our Mountain View location," said Michael Fitzgerald, a clinical nurse specialist in psychiatry and director of Behavioral Health Services for El Camino Hospital.

"We have had many requests from Los Gatos and surrounding communities to bring these programs closer to that area. It can be particularly hard for these two populations to get to the programs in Mountain View due to transportation barriers. Additionally, we have run out room at times due to the popularity and demand for these services," Fitzgerald said.

Patients can enroll themselves in the programs or their family members, employers, healthcare providers and others can recommend them for the services. Youth are normally referred to by family, mental-health providers, or school counselors.

To learn more about the older adult program, please call 408-866-4028; to learn more about the teen program, please call 408-866-4021.

Jim Thrall March 01, 2012 at 10:28 PM
El Camino is a well-run hospital and I am glad they are in our town. Mental health services are so important and so often overlooked. With CASSY at Los Gatos High School and coming now to Fisher Middle we have some really good early and professional intervention and prevention programs for kids in our town. Kudos to El Camino Hospital. Glad to have ya!
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz March 01, 2012 at 10:44 PM
I agree with you Jim. HIGH KUDOS TO EL CAMINO HOSPITAL!
Dyan Chan March 02, 2012 at 01:53 AM
I'm glad local youth and seniors will have more access to needed mental health services. It's good to have various options, and great that El Camino's services will be eligible for insurance coverage.
Maaliea Wilbur March 02, 2012 at 06:31 AM
This is music to my ears...Really glad to hear about the intensive teen program moving into our area. From a teen therapists perspective, this is definitely needed!!!

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