As long as you are between the ages of five and twenty-one you are eligible to receive services at Outreach. You are also welcome to bring any family members and/or significant people in your life to include in meetings and sessions. Parents or caregivers may come in individually to discuss an issue related to parenting. Outreach accepts anyone who is appropriate for outpatient services. If you are unsure if you fall into this category, you are welcome to call and find out. If you need more intensive or specialized services, Outreach can assist you with identifying right type of services for the issues you are dealing with.
At some point most individuals or families experience difficulties; they may have trouble adjusting to a new circumstance, or simply may be seeking an opportunity to grow and change. Outpatient counseling uses treatment and intervention to increase the strengths and resources of each individual served. Outpatient counseling serves as a way to talk about those issues with an experienced counselor who will not judge you in an office setting. The counselor will work with you to improve coping, social, and problem-solving skills. You will work with your counselor on goals that are important to you and goals that will help you to develop a healthy foundation for success in your life and relationships.
Outreach does not turn anyone away for their inability to pay. Through various sources of funding, and by holding major fund-raisers each year, Outreach is able to make counseling affordable to everyone. For example, Mt. Lebanon residents’ first two sessions are free because Mt. Lebanon Municipality helps fund Outreach. The next eight sessions are just $20 each. After ten sessions the fee is $50. For those outside of Mt. Lebanon, the fee starts at just $50 per session. However, subsidized counseling is available using a sliding scale based on an individual’s income. In addition, some counselors at Outreach accept medical insurance and your fee will be based on your plan’s co-pay. Outreach is also able to accept credit card payments.
The best way to get started at Outreach is by calling the office at (412) 561-5405. All calls are confidential. A staff member will ask for some basic information to help determine what services are appropriate for you. Next, a counselor will call you to make a date for the first appointment. After that first phone call it is very likely that counseling can begin quickly. If you have any questions about the process or about Outreach in general, the best way to get them answered is by calling the office at (412) 561-5405. You can also send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the law, if you are age 14 or over you are able to make the decision to get your own mental health treatment. If you are younger than 14, a parent or guardian needs to consent to your treatment. Outreach respects confidentiality. This means that what you say, and even the fact that you are coming to Outreach, stays between you and your counselor. There are some exceptions demanded by law. If a client is considered to be suicidal or homicidal, Outreach must break confidentiality. Also, if your counselor suspects that a minor has been abused physically or sexually, they are mandated by law to report this. Fortunately, these circumstances are rare. On the whole, what is discussed between you and your counselor will stay private.
Counseling is not designed to be a lifelong commitment. Rather, it is a way to work through problems and gain skills to deal with those problems, and others, in the future. The amount of time that you might need to come to Outreach depends on the scope of the problems you are dealing with. Individual sessions are normally bi-weekly, but sometimes more sessions are scheduled based on need. Sometimes a problem needs more attention, or different attention, than Outreach can give. If needed, you may be referred to someone who can give you the help you need. There is no predetermined length of time for counseling. However, counseling works best when you attend sessions regularly and make a commitment to work on the goals you and your counselor have set. Once you feel you have met your goals for treatment, you and your counselor can discuss a transition plan. Sometimes issues that you worked on in counseling will resurface. Or, you may find other adjustment issues that need managed. Either way, you are always welcome to come back to Outreach as long as our services are what is needed and best able to serve you.
If you begin to notice changes in the mood or behavior of your child that are concerning, particularly if it lasts longer than two weeks, a counselor can help to evaluate the situation and let you know if counseling would be beneficial or if those changes are part of a normal phase of development. Sometimes the child will ask to come in for counseling on their own. Please take that request seriously. Even if you do not notice any changes, your child may be dealing with problems that they are not ready to discuss with you. Outreach counselors can also address issues that occur within the family as a whole. If you feel you are not communicating well with your child, the family relationships are not strong, or behaviors at home are not contributing to the well-being of the family, a counselor may be able to help. You may also opt initially to request a consultation prior to committing to counseling. Consultations are used to assist parents in making a plan to address a singular issue with their child, while counseling is more appropriate for longer-term issues or to address patterns in mood or behavior.