Outreach: Connections are key

Young girl laying head on table in front of computer looking sad


ay is Mental Health Awareness month, and the focus this year is on the way our neighborhoods and physical environments impact our mental health. As a community-based mental health agency, Outreach Teen & Family Services continues to impact the mental health of our clients and families.

Since stepping into the clinical director role at Outreach, I have witnessed a significant increase in mental health concerns for children and adolescents in our community. As the first point of contact when an individual reaches out for support, I am learning that most families are connecting to mental health resources for the very first time. Reaching out for help can feel intimidating, and Outreach wants to decrease this fear by supporting our community in understanding what to expect when connecting to mental health services.

If anyone in your family is experiencing a decline in their mental health, Outreach can help. We offer a variety of services including individual, group, family, and parenting sessions. There are multiple ways to initiate services and find out if Outreach is a good fit for your child’s needs. When visiting our website, you can find an online inquiry form for individual or group services by clicking on the “connect” tab. From there, you will be asked questions to identify your current needs. The more information you share, the more we can help identify the best fit for services. The other option is to call our main office at 412-561-5405 and leave a message on our intake line.

Outreach is a low level of care outpatient center, which means we do not offer crisis support. If you or your child is experiencing active suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harm, we will connect you with the appropriate crisis services to ensure safety. Otherwise, we will share with you information about our current availability. If Outreach does not fit your needs, we will provide you with other resources to connect to in the community.

Outside of current needs, there are other pieces of this process to consider before connecting. The first is to think about the goals you are hoping to meet for your family. This will help at intake to identify the best fit. Next, if you are planning to use insurance, it is helpful to connect with them first to ensure that a provider would be accepted under your plan. Here at Outreach, we believe in supporting our community and never allow payment to be an obstacle for care. However, if insurance is important to you, then it is helpful to be proactive. Finally, if you are calling for your child, having conversations with them before calling can assist in identifying the current needs from their perspective.

The most difficult part of getting help is taking the first step of reaching out. Outreach is here for this community, and it is our goal to have a positive impact on the mental health of our neighborhood. We look forward to working with you! Please know you can reach out even if you are not sure about beginning services.

We are here to help!

Outreach Teen & Family Services is a nonprofit, confidential counseling service. We offer programs to youth ages 5 to 21, parents and families in a welcoming environment.
412-561-5405. This column is partially underwritten by the Mt. Lebanon Police Association.