teen mental health pittsburgh

How is teen mental health being addressed in Pittsburgh? New NY Times report has eye-opening answers

Photo above by Joice Kelly on Unsplash.

A powerful story published this week by the New York Times looks at the growing challenge of teen mental health. How can we get struggling kids the support they need? To explore this issue, the Times does a deep dive into the work of Pittsburgh mental health professionals, including Dr. Daniel Bender at UPMC Western Psychiatric and Salena Binnig, Layne Filio and James Russell at UPMC’s STAR Center.

Writer Maggie Jones gives readers a close-up look at how these Pittsburgh caregivers spend their days. It’s eye-opening — and, at times, heartbreaking — to see how enormous the problem of teen anxiety and depression has become. These veteran therapists give their all,  and often they end their workdays exhausted by the scope of the crisis.

“Binnig, who is 32 and has worked at the center for four years, has an air of unassuming confidence and a broad smile. In addition to her regular appointments with patients, she sometimes checks in with them throughout the week, especially if they have been harming themselves or mentioning thoughts of suicide,” Jones writes. “She fields voice-mail messages and email from worried parents. She also runs an intensive outpatient program, known as an I.O.P., for college students and teaches a weekly class for parents to explain what their children learn in an I.O.P. In her leftover time, she occasionally talks to school counselors managing high-risk students.”

At the same time, it’s encouraging to read this article and see the tremendous compassion and expertise these therapists bring to their work with local kids. There are breakthrough moments and stories of progress for some of the children they treat. It’s clear from the article: Pittsburgh’s mental healthcare workers care deeply about our region’s kids.

At Kidsburgh, we know that mental health is a priority — and at times a source of worry — for the parents who read our articles. So we wanted to point you to this comprehensive and vivid piece of reporting, which explores work being done here in our community. Read the full story here.

And click here for more mental health resources from Kidsburgh.