CHC to Open First Intensive Outpatient Program in Palo Alto for Teens, Spring 2017

Fills Critical Gap Between Outpatient Therapy and Hospitalization

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Advancement–Thanks to the outstanding philanthropic leadership of an anonymous Palo
Alto resident, CHC is moving forward with plans to launch Palo Alto’s
first Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) this spring, filling a critical
gap in teen mental health services. The IOP, located on CHC’s campus,
will address the needs of teens between the ages of 14-18 with
significant anxiety, depression, and/or suicidal thoughts. “We are in
the perfect place to do this, we have the qualified staff to do it, and
now, thanks to a generous lead donor, we can move forward right away,
knowing that it will be accessible and affordable to all teens,
regardless of financial capacity,” said CHC’s Executive Director, Dr.
Rosalie Whitlock.

After a recent qualitative study revealed a significant need for a Palo
Alto-based intensive after school therapy program for teens, CHC was
driven to add an IOP to its robust web of support for at-risk teens. It
is a natural extension of CHC’s comprehensive continuum of care and
overall commitment to helping local youth realize their promise and
potential. “It was time to listen to our community by creating a local
resource that can meet the mental health needs of our struggling teens,”
said Dr. Ramsey Khasho, Director of The Center at CHC.

CHC’s skilled adolescent psychiatrists and expert teen therapists will
allow for seamless transitions between the IOP and less intensive
outpatient therapy services. “CHC is a natural home for an IOP because
we have appropriate space, knowledge and skill sets along with the
passion and heart for the community and our teens,” said Dr. Lynette
Hsu, Head of Adolescent Mental Health Services at CHC.

CHC’s twelve-week IOP will be able to accommodate up to eight teens at a
time and will be offered on a rolling basis, four days/week during
after-school hours, enabling teens to maintain their daily school
routines. The IOP’s therapeutic multimodal approach includes
evidence-based interventions including Dialectical Behavior Therapy
(DBT)—considered the IOP gold standard for psychological treatment of
mental health disorders—and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), as well as
best practices in mindfulness. Seasoned, licensed clinicians trained
through the Linehan Institute (founded by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., the
developer of DBT therapies), will provide individual, group, and family
therapy; psychiatry with medication management; an academic skills
component; mindfulness training (physical, art, nutrition); and parent
and multi-family skill groups.

Those who will benefit most from CHC’s IOP include teens with moderate
to severe symptoms of anxiety or depression; self-harm behaviors (i.e.
cutting); suicidal thoughts with or without plans; significant decrease
in functioning at school and at home (i.e. sharp decline in grades,
missing school); and those for whom weekly outpatient therapy is not
effective for symptom reduction and improved functioning. The program
covers the often overlooked but essential middle ground between weekly
outpatient therapy and hospitalization, and provides transition support
between the two. The program also provides a critical step-down service
for teens discharged and returning from psychiatric inpatient stays.

Because teen anxiety and depression symptoms are not clear-cut and many
parents may not know what level of help their teen needs, CHC is also
expanding its free 30-minute expert consultation service. “We want to
offer clarity and comfort during what can be a scary and confusing time
for parents,” said Dr. Khasho. Parents are encouraged to call, even if
they aren’t certain whether their teen is exhibiting typical adolescent
behavior or warning signs of something more serious.

Connecting those in need with those who can help is the cornerstone of
CHC’s Teen Mental Health Initiative (TMHI) of which the IOP will be an
integral part. TMHI also aims to remove stigma, raise awareness and
reduce teen suicide through accessible, affordable and compassionate
teen therapy; community education; and community engagement. “Teen
mental health is not an issue that can be tackled by CHC alone,” said
Dr. Whitlock. “In order to make a lasting impact, we need to educate
ourselves and each other, leverage strengths and partnerships, and
involve all stakeholders—from teens and teachers to parents and
government officials.”

On this front, CHC has incorporated 12 new teen-focused classes into its
free community education program (link);
launched a Teen Mental Health Committee, made up of local teens who want
to use their voices to reduce stigma and advocate change; partnered with
Stanford to develop a Teen Mental Health Leadership Collaborative of
local leaders of various stakeholder groups to leverage the community’s
collective strengths and make advancements in the Bay Area teen mental
health system of care; and hosts regular gatherings with local school
counselors and wellness coordinators to understand and address unmet
mental health needs at the school and district level.

A complex problem deserves a comprehensive solution, and a changing
landscape requires a nimble strategy. “We are not interested in a
band-aid fix,” said Dr. Khasho. “We won’t rest until we see meaningful
and lasting results.”

In addition to CHC’s award-winning education and mental healthcare
services, CHC has long been a community resource. On March 16th, CHC
will host its annual community breakfast featuring guest speakers Nancy
Lublin, Founder and CEO of the acclaimed Crisis Text Line, the 24-hour
crisis intervention service delivered via text; Jayne Apple, WNBA Star
and founder of Bring Change 2 Mind, a non-profit working to end the
stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness; James B. Everitt,
EdD, Director, Office of Mission Initiatives & Institutional Planning
for Sacred Heart Schools, which oversees the School’s health and
wellness efforts; and Ramsey Khasho, PsyD, CHC Director of The Center &
Director of Clinical Services, Sand Hill School. Over the next year CHC
will continue to bring the community together through education, expert
panels, breakfast meetings and other events to highlight the various
needs of teens. Ongoing developments and details about the CHC Teen
Mental Health Initiative and the new IOP may be found at
To schedule a free 30 minute consultation or an appointment for services
call 650.688.3625 or email

About CHC

CHC is a nonprofit agency that has been serving children, youth, teens
and young adults in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties as well as the
greater San Francisco Bay Area for nearly 65 years. The CHC Teen Mental
Health Initiative expands affordable teen therapy, mental health
education, and community leadership and engagement directly, and through
community collaborations, to help reduce teen anxiety and depression,
and prevent teen suicide. The goal of the agency is to remove barriers
to learning regardless of language, location, learning style or ability
to pay. The agency specializes in Anxiety & Depression, ADHD, Learning
Differences, and Autism with The Center, two schools, Community Clinic
and Community Education.

Helpful Links:

online Resources

Signs of a Mental Health Condition

Teen Mental Health Difficulties: A Practical Guide for Parents


Children’s Health Council
Micaelia Randolph, 707-933-7332
Wolters, 650-867-7929