For Youth, Families, and Mental Health Professionals

HOPE TEAM helps young people at increased risk for developing serious mental illness, including psychosis. We aim to provide support and skills to help them cope with distressing experiences. Our goal is to help young people stay engaged in their social, educational, and work lives.

All of our services are provided by experienced professionals affiliated with UPMC, and you and your child can meet us before starting treatment to see if we are a good fit.

Young people referred to HOPE TEAM and their families can take part in any or all of the following services:

 

  • Clinical and Diagnostic Assessment:
    • We interview you and your child to find out what concerns you have and what kind of experiences your child might be having that are distressing. We also ask about how your child is doing academically and socially. Sometimes we can make a diagnosis, and we are happy to share that information with you and any professionals you would like us to (with written permission). We can also explain if and why we think your child might be at increased risk for developing serious mental illness.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy:
    • We conduct individual cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy – or one-on-one talk therapy focused on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Therapy can focus on addressing upsetting experiences (like hearing voices or worrying that others are out to get you), on feelings of depression or anxiety, or on whatever other concerns your child might have.
  • Education about Risk for Serious Mental Illness:
    • We explain to you and your child what it means to be at increased risk for mental illness, and what that may or may not say about his/her future. We also discuss what kinds of behaviors and environmental circumstances may help to lower that risk.
  • Medication Management:
    • All HOPE TEAM participants are asked to meet with our psychiatrist for an initial medical evaluation.
    • Depending on the wishes of families, we offer ongoing medication management.
  • Care Coordination:
    • If you do not already have any healthcare providers, or if you have several and they do not recgularly communicate, we are happy to coordinate among them. This coordination involves making sure they are all talking to each other and they all have the important information they need to best care for your child. This coordination does require your written permission, since we would need to provide the other professionals with information about your child.
  • Consultation and Staff Development (for Mental Health Professionals):
    • We also meet with healthcare professionals to consult on specific cases in which prodromal psychosis may be present, whether or not the young person is referred to HOPE TEAM for care. We also give presentations for healthcare professionals on a range of topics related to recognizing and managing the psychosis prodrome, or more generally, risk for serious mental illness in a developmental context.