How South Bay home facility will help teens struggling with mental health issues

Lauren Martinez Image
Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Home-based mental health center opening for teens in Redwood City
Here's a look at the new 6-bed, 24-hour residential treatment program in Redwood City for teens struggling with mental health issues.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- A clinical care team in the South Bay is getting a home ready to help support teens dealing with mental health issues.

On Wednesday, Lightfully Behavioral Health is opening a 6-bed, 24-hour residential treatment program in Redwood City.

The California-based company already has locations in Southern California for adults and one adolescent center in San Diego.

Clinical Psychologist and Chief Clinical Officer Nicole Siegfried said there's a growing need to bring their mental health services to Northern California.

"One in six of our youth are struggling with mental health disorders and the majority of mental health disorders start in adolescence," Siegfried said. "And what we know is seeking treatment early ends up decreasing relapse, and decreasing the course of the illness."

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Julia Baird is the Director of Clinical Operations for the new Lightfully location in Redwood City. From the outside, it looks like a regular home.

"It's just a very warm, welcoming atmosphere and we feel like that's the best kind of environment for treatment," Baird said.

She said the teens they will help will be dealing with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, or self-harm.

"I think we feel like a lot of the times especially coming out of a hospital, they need to kind of focus intensively on their mental health," Baird said. "Sometimes there's things like difficulty sleeping, medication, that needs to be kind of sorted out and this provides a space for that stabilization."

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Teens will have clinical oversight, family, individual, and group therapy sessions.

"Sometimes I think especially parents are struggling with a teen that's having problems like I don't even know where to turn and they might not even know we exist and that there's residential facilities like this," Baird said.

The teens are aged from 12-17 years old, and their treatment ranges from 30-45 days.

Baird said she's excited and eager to help.

"It's not about the hardships of life disappearing, it's about being able to cope better," Baird said.

A report published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association said in the last ten years, emergency room visits among young people for mental health reasons approximately doubled.

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Siegfried said that intervening early could prevent long-term consequences.

"These generations are some of the first generations that have been raised with social media present from the beginning, and so we're seeing the effects of that. COVID compounded that," Siegfried said.

Those interested in Lightfully or more information can visit their website here.

Lightfully also has two-day treatment programs offered in San Jose.

Siegfried said 98% of their clients sign up through their insurance.

"I don't want anyone to suffer in silence and only 48% of individuals with mental health disorders get treatment," Siegfried said. "And by being a resource and being an option for individuals we can decrease that number."

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