teen mental health pittsburgh

Mental health support for teens: What’s available and where to find it in the Pittsburgh area

Photo above by CHUTTERSNAP via Unsplash.

No one said high school was easy. The years between childhood and adulthood can be filled with pressure from social media, peer relationships, academics and more.

Even before the pandemic changed the world in 2020, there was a need to address mental health issues among adolescents, says William Davies, Ed.D, program supervisor for the AHN Chill Project, which provides one-to-one counseling, support groups, school-wide preventative services and more at 37 schools in our region.

Since the pandemic, Davies says, the stress level for adolescents “turned from a tidal wave into a tsunami.”

Why teens may need help
In school settings, parents and teens seek help with issues including anxiety, depression, trauma and a struggle to build coping skills, says Tiffany Miller Psy.D., a Pittsburgh Public Schools school psychologist.

In some cases, increased internet exposure to stressful content can play a role.

Erin Troup, a child and emotional therapist and founder of the Sprout Center of Emotional Growth, says overscheduled families with less time for valuable face-to-face interactions may also feel their stress levels increasing.

“There’s social media, but what about being social?” Troup says.

So what should parents look for when it comes to their teen’s emotional well-being? Davies says changes in any of the following could indicate that it’s time to talk to their child:

  • Mood or behavior, even if it’s subtle
  • Sleep or exercise habits
  • Socialization (withdrawing from peers or becoming isolated)
  • Falling grades that go beyond a regular fluctuation

If teens are embarrassed or fear getting in trouble, they may avoid discussing certain issues with their parents. Troup says creating an atmosphere of open-door honesty can really help.

“A lot of our work is to remind the children of who those important people are — their support system — and that they can help,” she says.

Once parents and teens – separately or together – determine that additional mental health support is necessary, a good starting point is to seek the advice of a pediatrician or school psychologist, Troup says. Here are some of the many places you can seek support in the Pittsburgh area:

Local mental health support, therapists and other resources:

AHN: Center for Traumatic Stress in Children & Adolescents: 412-330-4328

Adaptive Behavioral Services (treats addiction and trauma), Highland Park: 412-661-7790

Allegheny Children’s Initiative, South Side: 412-431-8006

Allegheny County Dept. of Human Services Child/Adolescent Behavioral Health: mental health and drug/alcohol services 412-350-5701

Allegheny County East Mental Health, Penn Hills/Monroeville: 412-371-7391

Auberle (outpatient therapy, psychiatry, addiction services), McKeesport: 412-673-5800

Center for Victims 24-Hour Hotline (serves as a gateway to mental health services), 412-392-8582 or toll-free 1-866-644-2882

Central Outreach Wellness Center (LGBTQ+ mental health services): North Shore 412-322-4151 , Washington 724-249-2517, Aliquippa 724-707-1155,
Erie 814-619-4009

Chartiers Center (outpatient therapy and service coordination), Bridgeville: 412-221-3302

Community Empowerment Association: 412-371-3689

Community Psychiatric Centers (outpatient therapy/psychiatry, medication management): Pittsburgh/Monroeville 412-241-5437,  North Hills/Greensburg 412-372-8000

Family Behavioral Resources (outpatient therapy/psychiatry in multiple locations): 724-850-8118

Family Links (outpatient therapy and service coordination), North Highland: 1-866-583-6003

Family Resources (multiple locations): 412-363-1702

Glade Run Lutheran Services (IBHS, outpatient therapy/psychiatry, family-based service coordination) in Pittsburgh, Butler, Zelienople, Beaver, North Hills: 724-452-4453

Highmark Caring Place (grief counseling and support): 866-613-4673

Hill House Association Family Services (family social services), Pittsburgh/North: 412-392-4400

Holy Family Institute (outpatient therapy/psychiatry), Pittsburgh/North: 412-766-9020, ext. 1222

Manchester Family Health Center (psychiatric services provided through Mercy Behavioral Health), Pittsburgh/North: 412-231-6700

Mercy Behavioral Health (North Side and South Side locations, but children/adolescents seen at North Side): 1-877-637-2924

Mon Yough Community Services (children and adult outpatient therapy/psychiatry and service coordination), McKeesport: 412-675-6927

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) local office: 412-366-3788

Persad Center (LGBTQ+ mental health support), Lawrenceville: 412-441-9786 ext. 226

Pressley Ridge (trauma therapy, parent support, ASD), North Shore: 412-321-6995

Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) 24/7 helpline: 1-866-END-RAPE

Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute: 412-661-1239

Psychological Associates, Inc. (counseling/psychological services), Allison Park: 412-486-2948

Re:solve Crisis (walk-in crisis center): 1-888-7 YOUCAN (1-888-796-8226)

Southwestern Human Services (outpatient therapy/psychiatry, IBHS): South Hills 412-831-8211 and Lawrenceville 412-781-3990

Sprout Center for Emotional Growth and Development in Brentwood, Cranberry and Murrysville: 412-882-8471

Squirrel Hill Psychological Services: 412-521-3800

STAR Clinic (services for teens at risk) Oakland: 412-246-5619

Staunton Clinics: Bellevue/Edgeworth/West Allegheny/Wexford 412-749-7330 and Pittsburgh/North Side 412-749-7341

Stern Center for Developmental & Behavioral Health (outpatient therapy/psychiatry, family-based support), Forrest Hills: 412-816-0761

Summit Psychological (outpatient therapy/psychiatry, medication management): Fox Chapel 412-406-7734, Seven Fields 724-591-8980, New Kensington 724-339-1143

Turtle Creek Valley Mental Health (Turtle Creek and Homestead): 412-351-0222

University of Pittsburgh Clinical Psychology (accepts patients without insurance, sliding scale fees, Oakland): 412-624-8822

Watson Institute (outpatient therapy/psychiatry, medication management, diagnostic assessment): 412-741-1800 or 866-893-4751

Wesley Family Services (outpatient therapy/psychiatry and care coordination, multiple locations): 412-342-2270 or 888-222-4200

UPMC Children’s Hospital Child and Family Counseling Center: 724-933-3910

UPMC Children’s Hospital walk-in behavioral health urgent care

UPMC Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Oakland: 412-624-1000 (also 877-624-4100)

State and national help:

In Pennsylvania, the Safe2Say Something program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others. Their phone number is 844-723-2729.

Nationally, the Trevor Project provides an around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ+ youth. Call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678678. Along with serving as a resource to young people who are struggling, the Trevor Project is “a resource to parents, family members and friends of young people, as well,” Miller says.

Also, the phone number 988 offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors to help those experiencing mental health-related distress, including thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress for the caller themselves or a loved one who may need crisis support. Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org.

LGBT National Help Center is a toll-free national hotline center at 1-888-843-4565, available Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Youth Talkline for teens and young adults up to age 25 is at 1-800-246-7743, Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. and on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Another option: For the Crisis Text Line, text HOME to 741741.

And you can find toll-free, 24-hour, confidential suicide hotlines that connect you to a trained counselor at the nearest suicide crisis center at:
• National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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