Through a number of specialized residential treatment services, the entire staff at Desert Hills is dedicated to helping children and adolescents who come to us for care, regardless of what their personal struggles may be. When it comes to the treatment of anxiety disorders, Desert Hills has had years of experience helping patients develop the skills needed to be able to control their symptoms, allowing them to be able to reduce the amount of stress they face on a daily basis. Getting proper treatment for anxiety disorders is important because it has the ability to affect an individual’s entire being, including how he or she feels, acts, and behaves. In addition to a general feeling of fear and apprehension, anxiety disorders have the ability to cause people to experience a number of different physical symptoms, such as sweating and muscle tension. While anxiety is a natural human reaction, when an anxiety disorder is present, it can cause great distress in a child’s life. Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Desert Hills provides a continuum of behavioral health services ranging from sub-acute residential treatment to community based programs for children, adolescents, and their families. Since opening in 1990, Desert Hills has grown from a small residential program to the largest continuum of behavioral health services for the state of New Mexico, with three different locations, making it easier for individuals to access services. Furthermore, in order to ensure we provide the highest quality of care possible that meet all of our patients unique needs, we provide ongoing training and supervision of all staff members. Doing so helps to ensure that all staff members are up-to-date on the latest evidence-based treatment modalities. If your child is struggling with anxiety, look no further than Desert Hills; our compassionate staff is here to help.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If you have a child or adolescent who has been diagnosed with anxiety, you are no stranger to the worry and fear that your child experiences daily. Avoidance of certain situations, clinging or crying when you separate, complaints of frequent headaches, and the onset of sudden panic attacks are all things that your child may struggle with on a regular basis. While it can be frustrating, the important thing to recognize is that you play an essential role in helping your child be able to manage their anxiety. In addition to seeking out professional mental health care for your child, at home you reward coping skills and other brave behavior, as well as be a good role-model for your child. These techniques can help children learn to face their fears, take risks, and gain confidence.
Why Consider Treatment at Desert Hills
Left untreated, anxiety disorders can lead to the development of problems later on in life. These problems can include things such as depression, missed job opportunities, unstable relationships, and substance abuse. Generally speaking, not getting treatment for anxiety disorders can result in an overall decreased quality of life. For some children and adolescents with anxiety disorders, their way of coping with their symptoms is to just avoid the situations that make them anxious. While this may provide some short-term relief, the anxiety will only return and has to ability to pop up in other situations, which may lead to a child avoiding more and more things. Additional problems may include refusal to go to school, not participating in certain activities, or lashing out at those around them. Anxiety disorders can be very disrupt in a child’s life, however you can take comfort in knowing that it is a common disorder that can be effectively treated. In many instances when a child is struggling with anxiety that is so severe it is preventing them from leading a normal life, a residential treatment program can be extremely beneficial as it places the child in a structured and safe environment away from additional stressors of the outside world. Residential treatment programs will work with you and your child to find the right combination of medication and psychotherapy needed to address your child’s needs.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Desert Hills, we believe that treatment should be strengths-based and should be centered solely on clients and their families. We train, facility wide, on the Nurtured Heart Approach in order to provide all of our clients and their families with inner wealth and opportunities to grow. It is our mission to provide high quality, comprehensive behavior and mental health services to children, adolescents, and their families. Treatment is provided through a continuum of care, ranging from sub-acute residential treatment to community-based programs. All of our services are individualized, culturally sensitive, and centered on clients and their parents/guardians. The clinical emphasis is placed on assessment, treatment planning, discharge, and aftercare planning. The overall goal of Desert Hills is to prepare clients for a successful future at home, at school, and within the community.
Types of Treatment Offered at Desert Hills
Here at Desert Hills, we have 10 distinct units, each of which has its own unique programming that is designed specifically to address the needs of various populations. Each unit follows a chief modality throughout their programming, which coincides with the needs of the patients on that particular unit. Desert Hills strives to use evidence-based treatment modalities on every unit to ensure that patients and their families have the highest likelihood of obtaining long-term, successful outcomes. The services that Desert Hills provides its patients is described in more detail below: Medication management: Medication management is provided for all patients throughout each one of our treatment programs. This is done to ensure that each patient is getting all of his or her medication needs taken care of, while also ensuring the therapeutic effectiveness of all medications. Use of medication is common in those who have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, helping to reduce some of the symptoms of this disorder. Individual therapy: On each unit, patients have a least one individual session per week. Individual sessions are designed to provide each child or adolescent with the opportunity to work directly with a therapist, allowing them to go into more depth about issues specific to each patient. Group therapy: Here at Desert Hills, all of our patients attend group therapy three times per week. These group sessions offer children and adolescents the opportunity to connect with others who are going through similar experiences. Some of the topics that are covered in these groups, depending on the specific program a patient is taking part in, include interpersonal effectiveness, conflict resolution, anger management, stress management, and correcting and replacing thinking errors. For those patients who are also struggling with substance abuse concerns, psycho-educational groups are held regarding the effect of substance abuse on the body, brain, and overall functioning. Family therapy: Family involvement is extremely important to the overall success of a child’s recovery, which is why we hold at least one family therapy session per week for each patient. Family therapy focuses on guiding and facilitating an open dialogue, as well as educating parents, caregivers, and other family members on the intervention skills used in treatment. This therapeutic process will help ensure the patient’s success long after discharge. Educational services: Continued education while at Desert Hills is a very important part of the treatment program. Our school provides patients with a positive, safe, and individualized place to learn and grow. All teachers communicate weekly with the treatment team, assuring consistency in the individual goals set for each student. Additional services that are available depending upon specific patient needs include:
- Bilingual mobile assessments
- Peer council
- Services for deaf and hard of hearing patients (administered by deaf therapists and other mental health technicians that are trained in American Sign Language)
- Equine assisted therapy
- Music therapy
- Red rocks
- Canine therapy
- High and low ropes courses
- Art therapy
- Play therapy
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
All patients from our residential treatment center have the opportunity to step down to one of our many outpatient care options, of which include the following:
Clinical day treatment program: This program allows patients to live at home, while also addressing any behavioral or academic issues they may have. These services are provided on a year-round basis for children and adolescents who are middle school through high school aged. There are both regular and special education services available, allowing students to earn summer credits and catch up if they have fallen behind academically. Additional services include group therapy and various experiential therapies.
Group homes: Designed to provide patients who are between the ages of 16 and 21 in need a structured home-based living situation, our group homes provide services that are focused on psychosocial skills development and functioning in the community.
Treatment foster care: This program is licensed and certified by the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to license, train, and support treatment foster parents and treat children between the ages of 4 and 18 who are placed in their homes. TCF provides around-the-clock clinical supervisions, on-call therapy, and case management services.
Whatever your child’s continuing needs may be, Desert Hills provides a wide range of services that will be able to address any and all of those specific needs. We will do everything in our power to help your child overcome his or her concerns so that, upon leaving treatment, he or she can face the world with the strength and confidence needed to be productive and remain successful.