SST and mental health teenagers: proposals from the world to implement management services for teenagers with acute mental health problems

SST and mental health teenagers: proposals from the world to implement management services for teenagers with acute mental health problems

With today ‘s article we share a proposal launched at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Center in Alberta for the implementation of some services, including Single Session Therapy , capable of responding more effectively and efficiently to crisis situations acute in the adolescent population .

What does the program offer?

Red Deer Hospital , a facility that provides a variety of health services including assessment and brief hospitalizations for adolescents with mental health issues, has increased hospital bed capacity and created a child crisis response team since June 2021. quicker and more effective adolescents.


What does the team do?

The team is made up of mental health workers who support young people who are experiencing a crisis and contact the local emergency department.

Team members stay with youth during their visit and provide temporary support through education , connection , coping skill development , and reassurance until other resources are available to help them.


What other interventions are added?

Additional improvement interventions for young people include:

  • Increase in beds from 8 to 12.
  • Create a mental health navigator to give families a single point of contact to access the appropriate level of services for their child/adolescent. This figure will be assigned to more complex cases.
  • Addition of single counseling sessions , two evenings a week, at the clinic. This service helps young patients receive an appropriate level of care and implements home emergency safety or support plans . This latter program is called Acute at Home .


How will the Acute at Home program be structured?

The Acute at Home program will allow young people to receive care in their home both virtually and in person as well as in a clinical setting .

The health care team will consist of a mental health therapist, a psychiatric nurse, a social worker, a crisis therapist and assistants who will respond to referrals within 24 hours and offer appointments seven days a week, including evenings and weekend.

The team will connect frequently with the patient and family, creating a network between the family, services and other community partners , such as schools.




Following the pandemic , there is an increase in problems relating to the mental health of children and adolescents . This phenomenon inevitably requires the implementation of adequate services for this segment of the population, which requires rapid , minimally invasive interventions capable of returning young people to their normal lives as soon as possible .

The program presented to Alberta Health Services represents a valid example of how a service can be modified to this end, offering more effective interventions, empowering families and providing assistance in appropriate spaces to the people who use it. As we have seen in this case too, the SST represented an important improvement capable of making the proposed service more efficient .  



Angelica Giannetti
Psychologist, Psychotherapist
Team of the Italian Center
for Single Session Therapy




Cannistrà, F., & Piccirilli, F. (2018). Single Sitting Therapy: Principi e pratiche . To the editor.

Red Deer hospital has new Adolescent Crisis Response Team.Youth psychiatric beds increased to 12 from eight, Red Deer Advocate (2021) from


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