After-School Program Interventions and Resiliency Education (ASPIRE) at El Camino Hospital is designed to help teens with anxiety, depression or other symptoms related to a mental health condition.

The primary goal of the program is to promote teens’ emotional wellness by taking a holistic view of their life situation, which encourages participation and education for teens and their families. ASPIRE provides a validating, supportive environment for young adults to gain healthy behaviors and learn how to manage their feelings, emotions and personal interactions with others.

A Unique Approach

ASPIRE at El Camino Hospital offers uniquely structured treatment for teens with mental health conditions by providing:
  • An after-school structure. The stress after a long day of school and lack of supervision can make this a high-risk time when teens are more likely to make poor choices. ASPIRE provides structure and training for teens during this time, when they’re most vulnerable. An after-school format offers treatment that doesn’t impede on teens’ lives.
  • Focus on hope, not mental illness. Although ASPIRE is appropriate for teens with serious mental health conditions, the focus of the program is to offer solutions and give teens hope. A psychiatrist who specializes in child-adolescent behavior provides assessment, diagnosis and program leadership, and our mental health specialists work hard to create a positive learning environment.
  • Development of life skills. ASPIRE helps teens gain practical coping strategies through dialectical behavioral therapy and expressive arts. The program includes individual therapy, group sessions and activities that allow teens to practice what they’ve learned in a supportive environment — and allows family members to learn and take part in therapy and learning.
Because teens will learn and apply a set of specific skills, we ask for a commitment of four afternoons a week for eight continuous weeks. Once the eight-week program has been completed, teens can continue to attend one session a week to further develop skills and prevent relapse. There's no time limit on the once-per-week program.

What to Expect

If teens arrive early, we start them off with a snack. There are 15-minute breaks between activities, which might include:
3 p.m. – Mindfulness
4 p.m. – Expressive arts
5 p.m. – Skills group (skills group for parents on Mondays and Thursdays)
6 p.m. – Program concludes 

Is ASPIRE Right for Your Teen?

Is your teen showing signs of depression, anxiety or another mental health condition? He or she may benefit from ASPIRE. The first step is to schedule a free assessment. Call us at 650-988-8468 or 866-789-6089.

Learn more about ASPIRE by reading frequently asked questions about the program.

Talk to Someone

Inquire about services or get a physician referral. Our call-back and chat services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Mental Health Assessment

Find out if this program is right for you or someone you know. Call 650-988-8468 or 866-789-6089 to schedule a free, confidential assessment.

Insurance & Fees

We’ll work with your insurance company to assure that services can be covered. Your insurance plan may require a share of cost. Teens with no insurance may be eligible through the hospital’s financial assistance program.

Tools & Resources