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(Tampa, Fla.) A unique program focused on treating anxiety, mood, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders among youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) leads a series of new and existing program expansions for kids and teens at Rogers Behavioral Health–Tampa Bay, beginning March 6.
Kids with ASD often also deal with anxiety, mood or OCD and related disorders that co-occur with their ASD diagnosis. Due to the social, emotional and behavioral difficulties that can result from this combination of disorders, providers and parents often feel overwhelmed. It can be difficult to know where to go for help, particularly given how challenging it is to find specialists who understand the unique needs of kids with ASD and co-occurring mental health conditions.
In response, Rogers Behavioral Health–Tampa Bay is drawing on its expertise to open a new program: the Anxiety and Mood Disorders in ASD partial hospitalization program for children and adolescents .
“This program will complement and support referring providers, patients and families who deal with the complexity of autism spectrum disorder, by providing treatment for significant co-occurring mental health disorders” says Eric Storch, PhD , clinical director of Rogers–Tampa Bay and also a professor at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida. “Our focus on these significant behavioral health disorders can significantly reduce mental health symptoms and greatly increase the overall functioning and quality of life for these kids and their families.”
Rogers’ Anxiety and Mood Disorders program for children and adolescents with ASD is the only one in the Tampa area to offer partial hospitalization, which consists of treatment for six hours a day. While Rogers’ specialists currently help patients with ASD through existing OCD and anxiety programs, they see a real benefit to having a program specifically focused on this group of kids.
“Our core approach to treatment remains the same, using intensive, evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy,” says Josh Nadeau, PhD , the clinical psychologist who will direct this new program. “But this program gives us the opportunity to bring our highly trained specialists—a hallmark of the Rogers treatment model—to address the unique needs of these patients.”
New teen programs for mood disorders and eating disorders
Other new treatment programs for teens with mood disorders and youth with eating disorders also launch March 6. In addition, existing programs for adults with mood disorders and for children, teens and adults with OCD and anxiety disorders will increase capacity. With this expansion, Rogers–Tampa Bay will be able to treat up to 88 children, teens and adults daily.
Rogers–Tampa Bay opened in September 2014, bringing its nationally recognized intensive, specialized outpatient care for OCD to the local area. Additional services for adult mood disorders and for eating disorders in children, teens and adults opened in 2015. Rogers offers day treatment for three to six hours per day, five days a week, depending on the program.
“These new offerings demonstrate Rogers’ commitment to deliver highly specialized and innovative psychiatric services in the communities we serve,” remarks Patrick Hammer, president and CEO of Rogers Behavioral Health. “It is our goal to continue expanding services in the Tampa Bay area as we work to fill unmet behavioral health needs.”