Mental health professionals in Palo Alto, California are trying to develop pathways for young people to seek help with their mental health before their problems escalate to a crisis.
The Stanford University School of Medicine is helping to pilot what it hopes will be a new national model for youth mental health and wellness called allcove.
"When we look at where young people are mostly coming into our systems right now, it's generally after a crisis, whether it's a suicide attempt or a drug overdose or something really much more severe. Because we don't have these places and opportunities for the early care," said Dr. Steven Adelsheim, the director at Stanford Psychiatry’s Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing.
The hope is allcove would provide those early care opportunities for youth.
Palo Alto is one of seven planned locations across California where allcove walk-in centers are set to be located. The plan is for the centers to offer integrated care including medical and mental health care, substance abuse counseling and career counseling, based on a model from Australia called headspace.
The team at the Stanford Psychiatry’s Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing has gathered a youth advisory group to help design the centers. The youth group has had input on everything from interviewing potential staff to choosing facility sites to the planned hours.
“It's not something that we're creating for them. It's something we're creating with them and alongside them,” said Vicki Harrison, the program director for allcove.