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Youth Services Center

The Children’s Community Mental Health Clinic (CCMHC) opened its doors in January 2002, with the stated purpose of providing mental health care to Juvenile Justice involved youth. 

Data from the Bernalillo County Detention Center and from detention centers across the nation consistently observed significantly higher recidivism rates for youth with identifiable mental health diagnoses. It was only logical to speculate that if JJS-involved youth with discernible mental health issues could be linked to behavioral health and psychiatric treatment upon release from detention, then the recidivism rates for these youth would subsequently decrease.

During the past eleven years, there have been literally thousands of young people to take advantage of the clinic’s services. Initially, clinical protocol operated on a medical model, complete with nursing, psychiatric, and case management services. Since that time, the clinic has developed a decidedly more behavioral health approach. Working closely with the Juvenile Probation Department and the Children’s Court, the clinic offers the following services: 

Psychological Assessments

Psychological assessment services range from the general diagnostic to the evaluation for mental retardation, learning disabilities, cognitive/neurological impairment, to psychosexual issues.        

Substance Abuse Evaluations and Treatment

Substance abuse evaluations are comprehensive, since at least 90% of the clients with a substance abuse diagnosis also have an Axis I diagnosis (Dual Diagnosis). As such, substance abuse therapy is not limited to issues of drug/alcohol use but extend into the contributing psychodynamic factors.

Individual and Family Counseling

Individual and family counseling services are delivered primarily through cognitive/behavioral techniques in the treatment of depression, anxiety, trauma, anxiety, and behavioral disorders.

Comprehensive Community Support Services

CCSS programming focuses on assisting the client identify problems in terms of goals, thereby enabling the client to make basic changes in his/her life. The Community Support Worker (CSW) teaches and coaches the client in a variety of necessary life skills. Examples include: being successful in school, preparing to pass the GED, learning how to build a resume, apply and interview for employment, and most importantly, guiding the client successfully through probation and court-ordered mandates. The client, ultimately, becomes his/her own self-advocate, knowledgeable in the pursuit of community-based resources, confident of the path to independence.

Patterns of success appear to be closely linked to the client’s ability and motivation to engage in therapy and CCSS programming. Coupled with the contribution of the probation department, the client is provided with a multidisciplinary treatment approach, enhancing wrap-around services…increasing the probability of client success. We are always looking for even more success stories.  

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