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Project Choice provides options for kids in crisis

Project Choice provides options for kids in crisis
CCMH Behavioral Health Services has teamed up with the YES House for a unique program that can help children or adolescents in crisis.

Project Choice enables children or adolescents to receive one-on-one supervision with YES House staff trained in crisis intervention. One-on-one observation can be done either in the Emergency Department or on the Med Surg units.

"Behavioral Health can’t admit children or adolescents to the unit if there are adult patients there," said Rebecca Mader, Interim Clinical Supervisor. "With this program, we have the opportunity to keep a patient here in Gillette so the family can be more involved in their treatment."

Project Choice is funded by a grant to provide intervention services for at-risk youth in Campbell County. They also provide one-on-one services at City Hall instead of placing alleged youth offenders in jail.

Project Choice staff are available 24 hours a day and the program is accessed through the House Supervisor, who has the necessary instructions and documentation.

"The program is already up and running," said Rebecca. "We had our first one-on-one with a patient last week."

Rebecca is hoping that the program will strengthen the alliance between Behavioral Health Services and the YES House.

"Before our only choice was to send a kid to WBI (Wyoming Behavioral Instituted in Casper) or hope that the parents could do one-on-one supervision in their home," said Lane Keeney, Crisis Shelter Coordinator at the YES House. "In cases of situational intervention, we want to work with the kid and their family, and that just can’t be done if the child is sent out of town."

Staff from Admistration, Inpatient Behavioral Health and YES House have worked on the Project Choice program for several months, finalizing an agreement, memorandum of understanding and HR documents.

The YES House staffs a 24-hour crisis line for parents and adolescents, 686-7539, and encourages its use when needed.

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