Behavioral Health

The Behavioral Health programs at Primary Children’s Hospital offer a team of professionals to help understand your child and family’s unique, individualized needs. We offer a wide range of services to treat your family at the right level of care. If your child's needs increase or decrease, we can modify your treatment plan to accommodate them. In addition to this, we offer several unique resources, including speech therapy, recreational therapy, and occupational therapy. Families can access our Assessment, Referral, and Consultation services through a centralized entry point into care by calling (801) 313-7711. An Intake Specialist will help determine options for your next steps.

About Our Programs

We provide extraordinary care to children and adolescents ages 2 - 18, along with their families, who are experiencing behavioral health symptoms. Our team consists of professionals who are experts in treating children and adolescents:  child and adolescent psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists, and mental health therapists. We offer a broad range of services, from outpatient treatment to inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. 

We are committed to providing patients and families with evidenced-based care and ensure our teams are trained and well skilled in the most up-to-date practices. We use outcome measures to help us understand if treatment is effective.

Our team will work with you and your child to set goals and strategies, along with setting timelines to accomplish these goals. We will communicate with both you and your child on progress. This will ensure we maximize our time together, resulting in the best possible outcome. 

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What Sets Us Apart

We offer a wide variety of services to children, adolescents and their families who are experiencing behavioral health symptoms. One of these services is Primary Children’s Medical Psychiatry/Psychology (Med Psych) Program. This service assesses and treats the psychiatric and psychological factors a patient presents with, in the context of their medical condition. We are the only program that offers this service in the Intermountain west region. Another unique aspect of our programming is having full-time nurses supporting our Day Treatment services. Working with Primary Children’s and McKay Dee Hospital we can provide a full continuum of services from outpatient to crisis stabilization. 

  • The outpatient clinic at our Wasatch Canyons campus offers a comprehensive Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program, which includes individual therapy, multi-family group therapy, phone coaching, and a full consultation team.  DBT has been shown to be an effective evidence-based practice in treating more persistent mental health symptoms. Participation in DBT may be a helpful step-down from higher levels of care within our behavioral health service line. 

  • Primary Children’s Medical Psychiatry/Psychology (Med Psych) Program provides services to assess and treat psychiatric and psychological symptoms in the context of a medical condition. This program is unique to Primary Children's Hospital; this service is not offered in any other program in the Intermountain West region. 

  • Our Assessment, Referral, and Consultation Service (ARCS) is a centralized entry point into care. You can call one number, 801-313-7711 and an Intake Specialist will help determine different service options for your child. This simple step allows you to access our entire service line and community resources with one call.

What to Expect

Contacting Assessment, Referral, and Consultation Services  

An Intake Specialist will speak to a legal guardian over the phone for 15 minutes to gather more information about the current concern. This will help to ensure the Intake Specialist creates the best plan for you. Callers will want to have their insurance card available during this call. 

Your Appointment  

On the day of your appointment, please remember to have your child attend with you. In addition to this, we will need you to bring all necessary paperwork/documentation. Lastly, please arrive 15 minutes early. We encourage you to come with a list of questions and a list of goals or areas on which you would like to work. Feel free to ask the Intake Specialist more questions regarding your first visit/admission. 

Children are often most apprehensive about separating from their parents. The provider will assess the situation and determine how comfortable your child is with talking with them alone. Adolescents tend to be the most apprehensive about 1) talking to a "stranger" and 2) what the provider will share with his/her parents. All our providers specialize in working with children and adolescents. They are skillful in building rapport and trust with clients, which help clients feel safe and open talking about their emotions and behavioral health needs. Additionally, the provider will share with both the client and the family the confidentiality policy and how this impacts the child and the family.  

Parents are most apprehensive about whether treatment will have an impact on their child. Parents can help decrease this apprehension by engaging in open and honest communication with the provider. It is recommended to talk with the provider about goals and areas of concern. This ensures we are on the same page and working towards the same goals. 

Before Treatment: We will ask you to fill out paperwork and provide us with some additional documentation, including but not limited to: previous testing or treatment records, custody agreements/legal documents, a copy of a physical examination, a copy of immunizations, and school records.  

After Treatment: Once your child has met their individualized treatment goals, we will provide you with some additional recommendations, as well as connect you to additional services. We can provide clinical documentation for new providers and schools. With your written permission, we can also collaborate with your new providers/programs and schools to help ensure a seamless transition. 

Multidisciplinary Care Team

While receiving treatment your child will have a treatment team that consists of multiple disciplines. We use evidence-based practices in order to provide the best possible treatment outcomes for your child. The members of the treatment team will depend on which services your child is receiving but could include:  

  • Board Certified Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist/Advanced Practice Provider:  
    Evaluate medications while in treatment and work with the care team to meet individualized goals. 
  • Licensed Mental Health Therapist:  
    Masters level clinicians (LCSW, CHMC) who work with patients on an individual basis as well as with families, working towards individualized therapeutic goals. 
  • Psychologist:  
    Doctorate level clinician qualified to complete psychological testing to clarify diagnosis.  
  • Pharmacist:  
    Provides medication reconciliations and recommendations for patients needing medication management. Also provides medication education to patients and their families as well as to the care team.  
  • Registered Nurses:  
    Provides daily assessment and screening for patient health and safety concerns as well as medication administration. 
  • School Teachers:  
    Licensed educators in Day Treatment who work with the patient to ensure that educational needs are being met. These educators work under a principal and the fully accredited school on campus.  
  • Recreational Therapists:  
    Focuses on improving the functionality of the patient while focusing on skill building and interactive recreational activities. 
  • Occupational Therapist:  
    Provides services for patients in need of assistance in areas such as self-care, eating, fine and gross motor skills, sensory, and play and social skills. 
  • Speech Therapist:  
    Provides services to patients in need of assistance with ability to express thinking and feeling, as well as the ability to understand verbal instruction.  
  • Dietitian:  
    Monitors individual nutritional needs and makes recommendations to treatment team.