Compass Virtual Solves Access Limitations for Teens Across Illinois Needing Psychiatric Support After New CDC Survey Shows Lack of Services




CHICAGO, April 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Increased access to evidence-based, supportive mental health treatment for teens is shown to improve overall wellbeing and lessen the traumatic stressors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Illinois-based Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) behavioral health treatment program, Compass Virtual, is helping to solve the teen mental health crisis through virtual psychiatric and comprehensive mental health services across the state, specifically for teens ages 13-18 .

The typical mental health treatment path for teens in need of intermediate-level care is often traumatic and ineffective. Adolescents are placed on months-long waiting lists to see a psychiatrist. At Compass Virtual, teens receive evidence-based, patient-centered treatment and see a psychiatrist within days. Compass Virtual was developed to allow adolescents across Illinois to access the same high-level mental health services as those who live near a Compass Health Center. Compass Virtual also alleviates the hassle of travel and planning around school schedules as patients have the flexibility to receive services from the comfort of their natural environment.

“There is an extreme shortage of psychiatrists and specialized clinicians across the country, and it especially impacts adolescents, healthcare providers, and rural communities,” said Claudia Welke, MD, Chief Medical Officer, and Co-founder of Compass Health Center and Compass Virtual . “Adolescents and our rural communities are at heightened risk due to lack of access to high-quality, intermediate level behavioral health care and interventions. When you cannot travel to an in-person location for PHP/IOP services or cannot endure the waitlist for services , Virtual PHP and IOP is an effective option for treatment.”

The need for high-quality, intermediate levels of mental health care, as an alternative to the Emergency Room or inpatient hospitalization, is critical. The CDC analyses, published Thursday, reported that more than a third of high school students experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and 44% said they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year.

“These data echo a cry for help,” said CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director Debra Houry, MD, MPH, in the CDC’s press release published Thursday. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created traumatic stressors that have the potential to further erode students’ mental wellbeing. Our research shows that surrounding youth with the proper support can reverse these trends and help our youth now and in the future.”

Compass Virtual partners with hospitals, schools, local therapists, and insurance companies, to help teens seeking PHP/IOP level care to maintain life at home while receiving life-changing behavioral health treatment online. The goal of treatment is to help teens return to a lower level of care, such as once-a-week outpatient therapy, as quickly as possible.

“The inability to route adolescent patients to the appropriate level of care contributes to worsening symptoms for those teens, and places undue stress on other systems within their community: specifically, schools, hospitals, and outpatient therapy practices. Virtual PHP and IOP can immediately help to alleviate this burden by providing adolescents and their families with convenient access to intensive psychiatric services,” said Taryn Kerr, LCSW, Senior Director of Virtual Programs, Compass Virtual.

Media Contact: Kelly Jones
Compass Health Center
312.404.4127 |

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