Mental Health Support and Services

  • What should I do if my child has a mental health emergency?

     People with suicidal thoughts or intent, or thoughts of harming others, need immediate attention.

    Montgomery County Mobile Crisis Support (ACCESS Services) - Crisis support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support individuals, children, and families experiencing crisis situation. If you or someone you know needs immediate support or is experiencing a crisis, call this hotline. 1-855-634-HOPE (4673)

    Abington Hospital -The Crisis Service program provides 24-hour crisis intervention services for individuals experiencing behavioral health emergencies. Crisis clinicians are available to provide comprehensive assessment and referral services. Services are provided either in the Crisis Service office or in the Emergency Trauma Center inpatient unit at Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health. The goals of crisis service are….

    • To provide comprehensive medical and psychiatric assessment and diagnostic services.
    • To treat acute psychiatric illness in adults in a sensitive, caring manner.
    • To assist patients in regaining and maintaining their highest level of function.
    • To assist patients and their families in identifying and obtaining necessary financial, social and medical resources.For more local psychiatric hospital visit the student assistance
    • and support services link
    • For more information about the Abington Hospital Crisis Service, please call 215-481-2525

    What are the warning signs of mental illness?

    According to the American Psychiatric Association the following are symptoms of mental illness. One or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness. But if a person is experiencing several at one time and the symptoms are causing serious problems in the ability to study, work or relate to others, he/she should be seen by a mental health professional. People with suicidal thoughts or intent, or thoughts of harming others, need immediate attention.

    • Withdrawal — Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others
    • Drop in functioning — An unusual drop in functioning, at school, work or social activities, such as quitting sports, failing in school or difficulty performing familiar tasks
    • Problems thinking — Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain
    • Increased sensitivity — Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
    • Apathy — Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity
    • Feeling disconnected — A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality
    • Illogical thinking — Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult
    • Nervousness — Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling
    • Unusual behavior – Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior
    • Sleep or appetite changes — Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in personal care
    • Mood changes — Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings

    What can I do to help my child?

    Children who are struggling with social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties need patience and understanding from the adults surrounding them.  Here are some helpful ideas to increase effective parenting practices:

    • Encourage and praise positive behavior
    • Learn stress management skills to deal with frustrating situations
    • Utilize a behavior management planning to encourage positive behaviors
    • Improve parent/child relationships by increasing listening and letting them make decisions
    • Become more involved with peers and outside influences ~ know who your child is hanging out with and what they are doing.
    • Develop family routine and structure. 
    • Parents should model the behavior they expect. 
    • BE CONSISTENT and do what you say you are going to do.

    For more information and helpful parenting hints visit AHA Parenting or National Alliance on Mental Illness

    How can I find a mental health professional for myself or my child?

    • You can contact your insurance company to get a list of providers who are in your network. On the back of your insurance card, locate the managed care/substance-mental health customer service line.
    • You can find affordable mental health services through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration  or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
    • Your company’s employee assistance program (EAP) can issue a referral to a provider. Reach out to your Human Resources office to get more information about your company’s EAP. 

    What is a base service unit and what do they provide?

    Community Behavioral Health Centers (CBHCs) or Base Service Units, are local community agencies that provide mental/behavioral health supports. There are six centers in Montgomery County which offer an array of services, including assessment, recovery coaching/case management, treatment, and medication management. They can also help guide you toward other service options in the County.

    Each CBHC offers services for both adults and children. Springfield Township’s base service unit is Merakey.

    Merakey can provide:

    • Behavioral Health (more information at next question)- NHS offers a continuum of care in behavioral health (includes mental health and addictive diseases), integrating services in both community and site based settings. These services provide a wide range of recovery focused treatment, services, and supports for children and adults.
    • Education and Autism- NHS focuses on the continuum of services throughout the lifespan of individuals in our care diagnosed with or without an autism diagnosis or other health impairment. Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) has been incorporated into a specialized approach.
    • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities- NHS supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the enhancement of their abilities and interests. Services are aimed at partnering with individuals as they become self-sufficient and live everyday lives.
    • Foster Care Services- The NHS Foster Care program provides a home-like environment for children and adolescents experiencing behavioral and emotional problems who cannot live with their own families.
    • Life Tree Pharmacy- Life Tree Pharmacy works with a wide range of facilities and programs to support individuals in the Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability communities.
    • Fresh Start- The Fresh Start housing and supportive service programs for veterans were developed to work with individuals with a history of homelessness, chemical dependency, and/or varying degrees of mental illness.
    • In-Home Support- For over 15 years, NHS has been providing comprehensive care for older adults. The NHS In-Home Supports Program is designed for individuals age 60 and older.

    Merakey Locations:

    400 N. Broad Street, Lansdale, PA 19446

    215-368-2022

    -Behavioral Health for Children and Adults -Substance Use Disorders

    2506 N. Broad Street, Suite 201, Colmar, PA 18915

    215-716-9001

    -Behavioral Health for Children

    200 N. Chestnut Street, Lansdale, PA 19446

    215-362-7955

    -Behavioral Health for Adults

    What are some levels of service available in behavioral health (includes mental health and addictive diseases)?

    • Outpatient
    • Intensive Outpatient
    • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
    • Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS), or Wrap Around
    • Case Management/Recovery Coaching
    • Crisis Intervention
    • Family Based Mental Health (FBMH)
    • Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF)
    • Foster Care Plus
    • And more…

    More information about all behavioral health services offered by our base service unit