Included in this section are programs or services specially created for children and youth. They include treatment programs, recreation, socialization and support resources.
First Episode Psychosis (FEP)
The onset of serious mental illness often occurs in the period of adolescence to young adulthood. It can be difficult to diagnose with certainty, but the most current research seems to be indicating that if treated early, with proper medical support and appropriate medications, the long-term damage from the illness may be lessened. The following youth programs offer intensive early intervention and treatment during and through the period of adolescence and young adulthood.
Early onset intervention and treatment for adolescents and young adults (16-30 years of age) experiencing symptoms and changes like: withdrawal from friends and family; strange or unusual thoughts or behaviors; fear or suspicion of others; or begun hearing or seeing things others do not. Provides care and support services, including medication if needed, academic and vocational support and assistance to meet individual’s chosen life goals in school, work and relationships for up to two years.
Early intervention for individuals (generally age 14-30) experiencing First Episode Psychosis symptoms for at least one week, up to one year. May include these or other types of symptoms: delusions, thought broadcasting (or mind-control), and/ or hallucinations. Treatment team includes Individual Residency Trainer, Family Education Clinician, a Supported Employment and Educational Specialist, and Psychiatrist. Same-week appointments. Care is planned in collaboration with other ECMC programs such as CPEP, inpatient psychiatry, the Partial Hospitalization Program, and substance abuse services.
Community-Based Services (CBS) are types of person-centered care delivered in the home and community. A variety of health and human services can be provided along with mental health and other medical care. These services are generally designed to increase access and address more complex health conditions. They may also provide more immediate access to care in underserved communities. For many of the services, certain criteria may be required, for example income level, types or level of chronic conditions, Medicaid-eligibility, referrals, and residence. Fees vary depending on insurance coverage or Medicaid or Medicare eligibility. Many programs, however, over a sliding-scale (based on your income) or assist with enrollment in Medicaid or other insurances.
Children’s Health Home
Children’s Health Home provides comprehensive, coordinated, intensive services for children under age 21 with Medicaid who also meet certain other criteria. Care managers ensure that children attend medical, dental, specialist or counseling appointments; link children and families with other services; and encourage children’s provider teams to work together.
Children (under age 21) must be enrolled in Medicaid and meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Have two or more chronic conditions (e.g., Substance Use Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes) OR one single qualifying chronic condition: Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) or Complex Trauma (Children);
- Must be appropriate for the intensive level of care management services in a Health Home. “Appropriateness” criteria include: at risk for an adverse event (e.g., mandated preventive services or out-of-home placement); has inadequate social/family/housing support; or serious disruptions in family relationships, has inadequate connectivity with healthcare system, does not adhere to treatments or has difficulty managing medications; has recently been released from incarceration, placement, detention, or psychiatric hospitalization; has deficits in activities of daily living, learning or cognition issues; or is concurrently eligible or enrolled, along with either their child or caregiver, in a Health Home.
- Being in foster care or in juvenile justice does not necessarily preclude a child from being in a health home.
Community organizations, individuals or families may make referrals to enroll in one of the three Children’s Health Homes listed below. Complete the Referral Form which may be found on each of the Health Home’s website. A Consent form must also be completed.
Children’s Single Point of Access (SPOA)
A mental health professional, the Department of Social Services, or other provider may feel your child needs more coordinated and intensive treatment. They will refer you to Children’s SPOA for screening and determination of eligibility for these more intensive services and case management through the High Fidelity Wraparound Program or Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver. Children’s SPOA also is also the single “front door” for other multi-system children whose families need help stabilizing their environments, are the at risk of being involved in the justice system or are currently involved in the justice system.
If you know or suspect your child/family is high-risk or high-need due to safety concerns within the home or community, you may also contact SPOA directly.
Children/Families who are not considered appropriate for Children’s SPOA services, and have Medicaid insurance, may meet the criteria for “Children’s Health Home” (see below) integrated services as well.
- Service provider and/or parent identifies that a child/youth meets the target population.
- Service provider and parent/guardian complete the application, referral process form, and permission for disclosure form (consent form). Service/treatment summary is included that identifies risk of placement/hospitalization as well as part/current interventions to address those risk factors. If available, the DSM-5 Diagnosis must be included. Link to Referral: http://www2.erie.gov/mentalhealth/
- County staff review materials for completeness and schedule Intake meeting as soon as possible.
- When a family is approved for SPOA Care Coordination, Families CAN (Erie County’s lead Family Support agency) conducts a one-hour in-home orientation.
- When a family is not approved, other services and/or supports are recommended by the Intake Committee to meet needs identified in the referral.
For more information, you may call (716) 858-8349.
Erie County Department of Mental Health
478 Main St., 2nd Flr., Buffalo NY 14202
Recreation & Socialization Resources
Restoration Society, Inc.