(March 31st, 2014) Beirut, Lebanon – The first Psychiatric Partial Adolescent Hospitalization Program of its kind in Lebanon and the region became operational at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC).
The program provides mental health treatment for adolescents between the age 12 and 19 who are experiencing emotional, behavioral and/or family problems and who require more frequent treatment than a customary outpatient format can provide and are not severe enough to be hospitalized. “This approach will provide the children and adolescent the chance to get treatment without interrupting their life routine and will be ideal during the schooling season,” said Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), Department of Psychiatry Dr. Fadi Maalouf.
The Partial Hospitalization Program within the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program at AUBMC was launched in Q4 of 2013. It offers intensive treatment that varies in intensity from three-hour sessions once a week to 3 days a week over 6 to 12 weeks. The program is an intensive treatment in a group setting for teens experiencing a moderate to severe depression or anxiety episode. The young patients will be divided into groups, facilitated by a psychotherapist, along with a psychology intern, a nurse or a psychiatry resident and are trained on skills to be practiced with the group.
Among the criteria to be met: “the child or adolescent has been diagnosed with a psychiatric illness, resulting in symptoms that cause moderate to severe impairment in his/her capacity to function at home, school and in the community” stated Ms. Zaynab Al-Ahmar, the primary psychotherapist running the groups. The individual has the ability to maintain sufficiently safe behavior to engage in outpatient or group therapy; the individual’s family or guardian is available to participate regularly in the treatment plan.
“Introducing this service will positively impact the life of our young patients in Lebanon, especially that this program is designed to work around their needs. Such initiative is a reflection of AUBMC’s pioneering role in introducing services that answers the community’s needs in Lebanon as well as the region. We started the service with a partial program and we aim to develop this to a full day program in the near future.” added Dr. Maalouf.
The Partial Hospitalization Program is offered at the group therapy room within the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program on the first floor of AUBMC’s Dale Home Building. For information about the Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Psychiatric Program, please call the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program (CAPP) on 7888 from 8 am to 5 pm.