Program Expands to Address Pediatric Mental Health Crisis
To address the increasing need for pediatric mental health services, a Providence program is leading the way with a transformative model. The Behavioral and Educational Skills Training (BEST) Program is designed for children navigating behavioral and emotional challenges related to trauma or mental health issues. It is the only service in Eastern Washington that provides a partial hospitalization program—intensive outpatient services—to children.
The BEST program treats children who are 8-12 years old. In 2021, 243 children participated, a 21% increase over the previous year. Over the course of five to eight weeks, the program builds social skills and emotional regulation through hours of group therapy, family sessions and medication management. Waitlists can be as long as one to two months, which increases the risk of hospitalization or school suspension.
Thanks to donor support, the BEST Program will move into a renovated space at Providence Holy Family Medical Center to serve both the families waiting for help and the growing need for these services in our communities. The renovation will include three group therapy rooms, four patient and family rooms, three provider offices, four low stimulation rooms and other safety accommodations. The additional space will allow the program to treat up to twenty children per day—more than 450 each year.