Compass Health Center Launches OCD & Complex Anxiety Program for Children in Western Suburbs to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis
Chicago, Illinois, May 2, 2023 -- According to recent data collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) between 2016-2019, more than 5.8 million children between the ages of 3-17 in the United States had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. These numbers have only increased since the start of the pandemic. In response to this need, Compass Health Center’s Oak Brook location has opened its new Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) & Complex Anxiety Program for children ages 8-13.
This new program complements Compass’s Adolescent program for ages 13-18 and supports children whose OCD and other more complex anxiety symptoms persistently interfere with daily functioning. In children, these diagnoses often present as refusal to leave home or attend school, refusal to participate in the classroom, excessive worry, sleep disturbances, and physical health concerns like chronic headaches and stomachaches.
“Since opening our doors to the child population in the West suburbs, we have seen the continued need for more specialized treatment when it comes to OCD and other anxiety disorders. We are excited to offer a more tailored approach to treating OCD and Anxiety with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Having recently launched this specialty in our Adolescent Program, we have seen improved outcomes with these patients and their families and look forward to offering this to our child patients and families as well,” said Katrina Shannon, LMFT, Director of Child and Adolescent Programs, Compass Health Center - Oak Brook.
Compass’s evidence-based OCD and Complex Anxiety Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) programming introduces children to exposure therapy, one of the most effective treatments for OCD and other anxiety disorders, such as Separation Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder. In addition to attending group and family therapy sessions, children in the program meet with dedicated exposure therapists to address their fears and the avoidance strategies the patients have adopted to manage their fears.
Children are taught to recognize the negative impact these avoidance strategies are having on their lives and are supported in gradually decreasing their avoidance behaviors. As the child slowly comes into contact with their fears, they learn to function in the presence of their fears and eventually to think about their fears differently. As part of Compass’s individualized care model, children participate in family therapy with one or more of their family members, allowing for the family to learn how best to support their anxious child and how not to support their avoidance strategies.
Ninety percent of Compass’s child program participants successfully complete the program and experience a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms. In addition, 95 percent of children in Compass programming avoid hospitalization due to mental health symptoms.
“We successfully treat these symptoms and diagnoses in our specialty programs for adolescents and adults in Oak Brook and for all ages at our other locations. We are excited to expand these services in a specialized way to children as young as 8 years old and their families in the communities served by our Oak Brook location,” said Kerry Lusignan, LCSW, Chief Clinical Officer, Compass Health Center - Oak Brook.
Compass’s expert clinical team of masters-level clinicians understands and focuses on the individualized approach to treatment, which helps children in moving towards achieving a meaningful and functional life. Learn More Here.
Press release published initially in The Daily Herald
Associate Director, Brand Management, Compass Health Center