Health Professional News

Mental health day program expands to kids ages 6 and older in Roseville

The partial hospitalization program (PHP) at Children’s Minnesota Mental Health Specialty Clinic in Roseville, which provides structured, outpatient therapy for children and teens struggling with emotional and behavioral concerns, now treats kids as young as 6 years old. The PHP can be an alternative to in-patient hospitalization, or a step down in care for kids who have been in a 24-hour treatment program.

Parents and providers like the PHP because it allows the child to receive intensive care that is designed specifically for their needs during weekdays and return home to their families on evenings and weekends. The Roseville location in the east Twin Cities metro area opened in January 2023; the program expanded care to treat kids ages 6-18 in January 2024.

The partial hospitalization program (PHP) at Children’s Minnesota Mental Health Specialty Clinic in Roseville

Caring for younger kids in the PHP

The goal of the PHP is to improve the child’s mental health symptoms and teach skills necessary for improved function at home and school through a combination of individual, family and group therapy. Therapy strategies differ for teens, adolescents and younger kids and the Roseville PHP offers services and facilities that meet the needs of kids in each age group it serves.

“Often our younger patients do not have as many words to explain how they are feeling; a lot of [their] communication is through body behavior, or ‘problem’ behaviors, as they’re sometimes called,” said Jenna Hertaus, LPCC, MA, program therapist. “Here we have the ability to use the gym to work on movement to better understand what the body is telling us, instead of a confined room that sometimes feels stifling, which could increase [body] behaviors.” 

Sensory tools, play therapy and movement in the on-site gym allow providers to work and connect with younger patients, help them learn to identify and understand feelings, and regulate their own body.

On-site gym at the partial hospitalization program (PHP) at Children’s Minnesota Mental Health Specialty Clinic in Roseville

“Children’s Minnesota aims to improve access to the full continuum of mental health services to meet the unique needs of all kids and adolescents in our community,” said Claudia Campo-Soria, MD, psychiatrist and medical director of outpatient child psychiatry. “The expansion of our Roseville partial hospitalization program to serve kids as young as 6 is helping to fill a critical need for mental health care for our younger patients.”

Eligibility and referrals for the PHP

To be eligible for the PHP, patients must meet the following general criteria: 

  • Ages 6-18 (if still in high school).
  • Diagnosed or suspected behavioral health condition with symptoms that are serious and/or disabling, or symptoms from a severe and persistent mental disorder have not improved or cannot be adequately addressed through a less intensive level of care. 
  • Behavioral health condition has marked impairments in their daily life, including any of the following: 
    • Adequate functioning in areas (e.g., self-care), specific role expectations (e.g., school attendance), managing time in a meaningful way. 
    • Problem solving, decision making.
    • Relating with family, peers and others.
    • Addressing safety issues.
    • Complying with medications.

Mental health services at Children’s Minnesota

As The Kid Experts® in the region, we are committed to helping meet the ever-growing need for accessible mental health care for children and teens. In addition to PHP in Roseville, Children’s Minnesota opened its first PHP at its Specialty Center in Lakeville in 2021 and its first inpatient mental health unit at the St. Paul hospital in November 2022. Read more about the partial hospitalization program here

To refer a patient, call Children’s Minnesota Physican Access at 866-755-2121.

Alexandra Rothstein