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If your child or teen having a crisis related to mental illness or substance use disorder (substance abuse), he or she may need to be admitted to a hospital for around-the-clock care. Atrium Health’s child and adolescent behavioral health programs at Behavioral Health-Charlotte provide a safe, nurturing environment where young patients work with our trained clinicians to focus on skills and behaviors that will make them happier and better adjusted.

Atrium Health’s child and adolescent behavioral health program includes:

  • Level-based behavioral modification – a program of rewards and privileges for goals achieved
  • An accredited school program, allowing students to keep up with schoolwork
  • Separate units for children (ages 4 to 12) and adolescents (ages 13 to 17)
  • A safe environment to develop and practice new insights and improved functional skills and behavior

Outpatient Care for Children and Teens

All children go through ups and downs, but if you see a sudden change in your child's mood or behavior or if your child seem depressed, anxious, has severe mood swings or anger issues, he or she may need help.

Atrium Health offers the following behavioral health outpatient services for children and adolescents:

Partial hospitalization

Hours of operation:
8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday 

Partial hospitalization for behavioral health can be a "bridge" between inpatient and outpatient care. If your child or teen needs care for mental illness that may be more intensive than intermittent therapy but less intensive than the 24-hour care he or she would get staying in the hospital, partial hospitalization may be the right choice. It may include:

  • Group therapy daily and individual therapy as needed
  • Family education and support
  • Coping skills development
  • Behavior management
  • Recreational therapy
  • Medication management

Partial hospitalization for children and adolescents is available at Carolinas HealthCare System Behavioral Health-Charlotte.

Recreational Therapy

Recreational therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the assessed needs of individuals with illnesses or disabling conditions, as a means to psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being. Further, "Recreational Therapy” means a treatment service designed to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition.

When individuals are experiencing a mental illness, they often need support in learning how to live with their diagnosis and how to enhance their quality of life and participate in leisure activities.

Recreational Therapists (RTs) seek to reduce depression, stress and anxiety in their clients and help them build confidence and socialize in their community. We provide group and 1-on-1 programming. Learn more about RTs.

Behavioral Interventions include:

  • Social skills
  • Creative expressions
  • Problem-solving initiatives
  • Leisure education
  • Stress management
  • Self-esteem
  • Coping strategies
  • Teambuilding
  • Communication

School-Based Services

School-based services are designed to promote the emotional health of students without disrupting their normal routine. The therapist is "just another counselor" in the school setting, meaning your child doesn’t have to worry about unwanted attention from other students.

Our therapists work directly with parents or guardians, school counselors and teachers to identify students who may be having mental health issues and could benefit from counseling. Such issues might include:

  • Peer pressure and peer conflicts
  • Anger management
  • Suspected physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • Death of a parent or loved one
  • Dealing with a move or other transition
  • Trauma in the home
  • Being a witness or victim to violence
  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD)
  • Truancy, absenteeism and tardiness
  • Mood and anxiety disorders, like depression, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive behavior

Atrium Health’s school-based services are available in Mecklenburg County, NC.

Behavioral Health Medication Management

Medications are often used in the treatment of behavioral health issues and mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Even though medications do not cure mental illness, they can improve symptoms and help promote recovery. When combined with other treatments such as psychotherapy or counseling, you can often find yourself living a happier, more balanced life.

Atrium Health offers outpatient medication clinics throughout the Charlotte, NC, region. Experienced medical professionals work with you or your loved ones to educate you on the proper use of your medicines.