Meridian’s Family Center offers evaluation and evidence based treatments for childhood depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, and trauma-related behavioral problems in our clinic, at home or at school.
The Center for Building Healthy Families encompasses therapeutic services delivered to children and their families. The Center provides multi-disciplinary substance abuse and mental health assessments as well as treatments to effectively provide behavioral healthcare.
Services for ChildrenServices delivered to the consumers take a strength-based, person-centered approach. We apply and utilize the following evidence based practices appropriate for diagnosis and functioning level of the consumers:
- Motivational Interviewing
- Cognitive Behavioral-Based
- Solution Focused Care
- Trauma Focused Care (includes Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
- Skill Building Strategies
- Parent – Child Psychotherapy
Emergency ScreeningEmergency Screening staff provide evaluations for children on a 24/7 basis. Staff provides evaluations to determine the appropriateness of involuntary admission for mental illness under the Florida Baker Act. Screeners are also available to advise family members on involuntary evaluation for substance use disorders under the Marchman Act.
Crisis Stabilization UnitMeridian operates our Children’s CSU in Lake City, providing short-term stabilization for acute and serious mental health problems. Each of our CSUs is a Baker Act Receiving Facility, accepting any patient that meets Baker Act criteria.
Outpatient CounselingMeridian’s Children’s Outpatient Program provides services to children, adolescents, and families. Outpatient therapy is provided to clients with a wide range of issues including behavioral problems, mood disorders such as depression or anxiety, adjustment issues, family concerns and substance abuse. On the initial visit, the therapist conducts a comprehensive assessment including individual child and family interviews, examining the child’s current needs, challenges, strengths, and functioning level, as well as the child’s developmental, educational, family, medical, and psychiatric history. The child will then work with a counselor to help relieve troubling symptoms, enhance emotional development, and improve functioning at home, school and in the community. This program helps children:
- Identify and manage painful emotions
- Learn coping skills to deal with stressful situations
- Control troublesome behavior
- Improve communication skills
- Form and maintain positive relationships
- Make use of innate talents and abilities
School-Based CounselingSchool-based counseling is available in many schools throughout the region. Meridian provides a therapist on site to work with students who have behavior problems and to assist teachers address behavioral issues. Children needing services can be seen without parental consent for all substance use disorder treatment and for a mental health emergency. However, we strongly encourage parents’ involvement as an essential part of improving the wellbeing and behavior of children.
Children’s Summer ProgramOur children’s summer program improves psychosocial functioning and enhance pro-social behavior. The eight-week program is held mid-June through early-August each year on Meridian’s main campus in Gainesville and is offered at no cost to families. Children’s Summer Program features group and individual treatment designed to teach children skills for success, such as how to understand and manage their emotions, interact appropriately with others and problem-solve. The program also incorporates games, group activities and field trips to practice these skills under the guidance of a master-level therapist. These approaches are provided in the home, community and/or at Meridian. The Family Services Department offers referrals to services such as Intensive Outpatient (Partial Hospitalization), Residential Substance Abuse, Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Psychiatric Services and aftercare follow-up services.
Children’s Community Action TeamThe Community Action (CAT) Team is a self-contained, integrated, multi-disciplinary team providing comprehensive, intensive, community-based treatment to families with children and youth at risk of out-of home placement due to mental health disorders. Medical staff provides psychiatric care, basic health status checks and works with the family to maintain medical records as well as linkages to community health care practitioners.
Eligibility:Children 11-21 years of age with:
- Mental health diagnosis or co-occurring substance use disorder diagnosis
- A risk for out-of-home placement (traditional services have been proven inadequate)
- Two or more hospitalizations or repeated failures
- Involvement with DJJ or multiple episodes involving law enforcement
- Poor academic performances and/or suspensions