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Depression and Suicide in Teenagers – Services for Teens at Risk (STAR) Center

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The Services for Teens at Risk (STAR) Center is a program that combines clinical and outreach services to help prevent adolescent suicide.

The STAR-Center's mission is to offer state-of-the-art responsive care for children and adolescents with depression or anxiety, or who are at risk for suicidal behavior.

Clinical Services for At-Risk Youth and Their Families

  • In-depth assessment of psychiatric problems
  • Outpatient cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy for youths age 7 to 18
  • The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for youths age 13 to 18 who require more intensive treatment. This three-day-a-week program provides nine hours of treatment per week and teaches coping skills and emotion regulation using principles of dialectic and cognitive behavioral therapies.
  • Parent education and support groups
  • Continuation and maintenance groups for youth who have completed therapy
  • Services for bereaved children, adolescents, and families

Educational Services for Students and Mental Health Professionals

STAR-Center offers educational opportunities for students and health professionals seeking to learn skills and best practices for dealing with at-risk youths.

  • Electives for medical students and residents to learn how to assess and treat at-risk youth with depression, anxiety, or suicidal behavior
  • Internships for master's and doctoral students in the mental health professions
  • Conferences for professionals
  • Webinars

College Option – Services for Transition-Age Students at Risk (CO-STAR)

In response to state-wide concern about suicide in college students, STAR-Clinic has developed a new program for students attending a western Pennsylvania college or university, called CO-STAR (College Option, Services for Transition Age Youth at Risk). The goal of CO-STAR is to partner with local colleges and universities and provide rapid and comprehensive assessment and treatment for depressed, anxious, and suicidal undergraduate college students who are:

  • Ages 18-24 “stepping down” from the acute inpatient level of care following a suicidal episode; students in crisis presenting at the UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital Emergency Room (DEC) or students in crisis at university counseling centers.
  • Currently enrolled in undergraduate college courses
  • Currently experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and self-injury that require a higher level of care than weekly outpatient service

Interested students will receive an initial comprehensive assessment to determine if CO-STAR’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is appropriate.

Postvention and Crisis Response Services

Advance planning can reduce the impact of an in-school tragedy.

STAR-Center outreach staff consults with educators on providing postvention services, and recommends that school districts — working closely with their communities — prepare for tragedies by developing policies and procedures that may be activated on very short notice.

Our staff is available to any district or agency, 24 hours a day, by calling 412-864-3346.

See how STAR-Center can help your school develop postvention and crisis response strategies.