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ASPIRE Program

Last Updated 8/6/2014 6:01:13 PM


What is the ASPIRE program?

The After-School Program Interventions and Resiliency Education (ASPIRE program) at El Camino Hospital is designed to provide meaningful and effective treatment for teenage youth who are experiencing anxiety, depression, or other symptoms related to a mental health condition.

The program takes a holistic view of the young person’s life situation. This approach encourages participation and education for youth and their families.

Emotional wellness is the primary goal of the program. One of the objectives of this goal is training families in health communication responses, to provide a validating and supportive environment.

Why an after-school program?

The hours after school are a particularly high risk time for adolescents. Lack of supervision and support, exhaustion from a long school day, and mood instability may lead young people to engage in problem behaviors during these hours. An after school program such as ASPIRE provides structure and training in mental wellness skills which help adolescents learn and implement healthy coping strategies.

What type of program is ASPIRE?

The types of treatment used in the ASPIRE program include the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy and expressive arts. The program also incorporates the use of dialectical behavioral therapy, which identifies the adolescent’s need to develop skills to help regulate emotions, for example. The therapy approach in the ASPIRE program includes not only the adolescent but others in his/her environment. Individuals undergoing treatment will learn a language of wellness that is relevant to their needs.

Services in the program are in addition to the services of a child-adolescent trained psychiatrist who provides assessment/diagnosis and leadership through active participation in team sessions. Treatment plans, using an interdisciplinary model, include the goals of both the young person and his/her family. Our staff is dedicated to working with youth. A good relationship between staff and the young person is especially important with this age group and is key to a positive outcome.

How long is the program?

Because we want the young person to learn and apply a set of specific skills, we ask for a commitment of four afternoons a week for eight weeks. This is so skills in each area (such as emotional regulation) can be fully explored. Following the eight-week program, we offer a one afternoon a week program where the young person can continue to develop these skills and help prevent relapse. There is no specific time limit on the one day a week program.

Below is a sample of the daily schedule:

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Individual counseling as scheduled
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mindfulness
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Expressive arts
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Skills group for parents (Thursdays)
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Skills group
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Individual and family counseling as scheduled

(There is a 15-minute break between activities)

Is the program covered by insurance?

We will work with insurance companies so that services can be covered. Your insurance plan may also require a share-of-cost. Youth with no insurance may be eligible through the hospital charity care program; please visit our patient financial services section for more information.

Are parents or guardians involved in the care?

Yes. Parent or guardian involvement is not only encouraged but required. This is because of the importance of the relationship between the teen and the adults in his or her life. Parents are to attend a skills group, and participate in family meetings .

Contact Behavioral Health Services

If you would like more program information or to make an appointment for an initial confidential consultation, please call 650-962-5855 for the Mountain View campus or 408-866-4021 for the Los Gatos campus.

After-School Program Interventions and Resiliency Education

Michael Fitzgerald, director of Behavioral Health for El Camino Hospital
Watch this video on ASPIRE (After-School Program Interventions and Resiliency Education), our program for teens. ASPIRE was created to fill a need in the Silicon Valley community for effective treatment for youth with anxiety, depression or other symptoms related to a mental health condition.

ASPIRE Program

Image of the Actute Psychiatric Partial Hospitalization Program Brochure - click to download



















Download a brochure on the ASPIRE Program at El Camino Hospital

Information for Provider Referrals