Bethesda Partial Hospitalization Program is a short-term mental health and academic program offered to students who need more intensive mental health treatment than outpatient services can provide. Students are referred to the Partial program by their home school district, parent or mental health provider who has determined that the student’s emotional needs have surpassed the school’s ability to provide academic instruction.
Certified Special Education teachers provided by the local Intermediate Unit, instruct Bethesda students in all academic areas. Mental Health counseling is provided as needed throughout the day. Mental Health Workers are present in each treatment room at all times to address any behavioral problems or conflicts that arise during the day. Student-to-staff ratios are kept low at Bethesda in order to provide a more personalized one-on-one educational experience. Class sizes in Partial are no more than 10 students, ranging in age from 6 to 18 years old. There are five treatment rooms with the maximum program capacity of 50. Group therapy occurs within the program twice daily, individual therapy at a minimum of one hour per week, and family therapy at a minimum of one time per month. Each teacher and mental health worker utilize a point system to reinforce good behavior. This point system coincides with a level system that the clients work through to gain privileges and identify their progress and achievements within the program. Psychiatric over-site and medication management occur on site.
The Partial Hospitalization Program runs 12 months a year. During the summer months there is no education component with approximately 9 weeks of group therapy 6 hours daily including lunch and structured recreation Monday through Friday.
The purpose of the Partial Hospitalization Program is to help students with moderate to severe mental health issues succeed in an academic setting. The Partial Program provides more opportunity to address individual student needs. Staff assist students in stabilizing mental health symptoms that have been disruptive to academic, home, and community success in the past. The purpose of the program is to enhance students’ coping skills, teach problem solving skills, and improve their interactions with authority figures. Peer relationship building and school performance are very important in helping with a student’s successful transition back to public school. Individual treatment goals and incentive plans are also developed for each student using a strengths based method.
The Partial Hospitalization program staff work very closely with the clients parents, home school district, outside service providers to ensure the best treatment and outcomes.