Behavioral Health Services

Merakey offers a continuum of care in behavioral health (includes mental health and addictive diseases), integrating services in both community and site based settings. These services provide a wide range of recovery focused treatment, services, and supports for children and adults.

Site/Clinic Based Services

(Services provided at a Merakey facility)

The Merakey Center for Hope is a youth drop-in center for children ages 11-21 residing in the city of Newburgh, NY. The Center offers an array of workshops, including ceramics, printmaking, animation, music, dance, photography, creative writing, sports, karate, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, Pilates, step dancing, and Yoga, as well recreational activities and field trips. The Center also offers after school tutoring and homework help on a daily basis, as well as opportunities for community service involvement. The Center maintains a community garden that grows organic vegetables. The children attending the Center are involved in the growing, harvesting, and selling of these vegetables. During the summer months, academic pursuits are still encouraged with an onsite borrowing library, spelling bees, and vocabulary tournaments.

Children and adolescents under the age of 21 experiencing behavioral health challenges can receive services in a clinic based setting. Treatment modalities include:

  • Systems Therapy
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Solution-Focused Therapy
  • Rational Emotive Therapy
  • Reality Based Therapy
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Group Therapy

Merakey offers site-based, or clinic-based, treatment to adults with mental illness who are in need of therapy, psychiatric evaluation and medication management. A variety of highly trained professional staff offer individual, group, family and specialized therapies to individuals and their families. Board eligible or certified Psychiatrists are available for diagnostic assessment as well as medication monitoring and evaluation. In addition, some sites offer nursing support for Clozaril management, psycho-education, and medication administration.

Integration of Primary and Behavioral Healthcare
Merakey partners with primary care offices to provide primary care services within our behavioral health care facilities as an option for individuals to receive all their services in one location. In addition to primary care services, individuals may also receive services from on site nurse navigators and a pharmacy. This integrated approach helps fill a void for medical care that some individuals with mental illness have experienced.  

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic at Merakey Delaware County
In the fall of 2018, Merakey Delaware County was awarded a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Expansion Grant from the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). These national grants are intended to initiate a nationwide transformation of the publicly funded behavioral health delivery system. Grant recipients are tasked with developing a model of community behavioral healthcare that increases access to services, comprehensiveness of services, and quality of services. Merakey Delaware County in Sharon Hill, PA began fully functioning as a CCBHC in January 2019. For more information, click here.

PCIT is an empirically – supported treatment for young children, ages 2 ½ to 7, with emotional and behavioral disorders that places emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. Treatment consists of 12 to 20 weekly sessions of direct coaching by a therapist who uses an earpiece during parent-child play to inform them of what they are doing well provide in-time support to enhance skills that they may have difficulty mastering.

The PACT program assists young children with serious behavioral/emotional challenges with developing more appropriate behavior and coping strategies so that they can be successful in traditional kindergarten or community school settings. PACT also assists the caretakers of these children to develop the parenting skills needed to support and maintain changes in behavior and emotional states at home, in school and in other settings.

The Partial Hospitalization Program is a community-based, nonresidential treatment modality which provides psychiatric, social, behavioral, educational and vocational elements under medical supervision. It is designed to support school age children and adolescents, ages 5-21, with their identified emotional, behavioral and educational needs utilizing a multidisciplinary team approach. Persons using this service need less than 24-hour care, but more intensive and comprehensive services than are offered in outpatient and aftercare programs. Services are typically provided at a minimum of 3 hours and up to six hours, Monday through Friday. The program focuses on aiding children and adolescents to acknowledge their strengths and to build on those strengths to have a successful learning experience, improve their self-esteem and prepare them for a step down to a less restrictive, educational placement and clinical treatment modality.
This site-based program is similar to partial hospitalization and provides service for up to 6 hours a day. Individuals in these programs require assistance to develop and enhance psychiatric stability, social competencies, personal adjustment and community living. This program uses a variety of professional and para-professional staff to facilitate skills training. A psycho-education component assists with building natural supports, job preparedness and daily living. Individuals focus on their personal recovery goals and development of skills needed to live successfully in the community.

Community-Based Services

(Services provided in the community or in an individual’s home)

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Teams are composed of professionals including psychiatrists, nurses, mental health professionals, substance abuse professionals, employment specialists, housing specialists, and a peer specialist, all of whom collaborate to provide complete services including therapy, medication management and resource linkage. Services are provided in the individual’s home and include at least three home visits a week. Criteria for eligibility include:

  • Diagnosis of severe and persistent mental illness
  • Two or more hospitalizations within the six months of prior to service
  • History of not being successful in the traditional service delivery system

Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) Teams are essentially the same as the Assertive Community Treatment Team except that the eligibility requirements include at least two encounters with law enforcement/arrests/incarceration within the six months prior to service delivery.

BHRS is provided to individuals under the age of 21 with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or behavioral health challenges. BHRS is a Medicaid funded program providing family and child centered clinical services in the home, school and/or community to address areas such as safety awareness, communication, social skills, functional independence, and appropriate group/classroom behavior. Services must be deemed necessary by a Psychologist and can include: Behavioral Specialist Consultant (BSC), Mobile Therapy (MT), and Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS).

Case Management Services are designed to provide individualized support to people who face the challenges of mental health challenges. Services are provided 365 days per year, 24 hours a day by trained professional staff. An approved service plan determines the type of services needed and frequency of contacts. Services offered:

  • Benefits Coordination
  • Coordination of Physical Health Care
  • Advocacy
  • Assistance Building and Accessing Natural Support
  • Housing Support and Maintenance
  • Referral
  • Crisis Prevention and Intervention
  • Resource Case Management
  • Individuals receive at least monthly face to face support from a case manager. Services can be provided more frequently if necessary.
  • Blended Case Management

This service offers a combination of resource and intensive case management services. Case managers are able to adjust the frequency of supports based on the consumers needs without the consumer moving to another program. Frequent assessments and face to face visits help determine the level and intensity of support and services.

  • Drug and Alcohol Recovery Links Program
    This program is a 4-6 month service for recovering individuals that provides mobile, community based services in order to obtain supports to successfully live in the community.  There is also 24 hour per week / 7 days per week crisis intervention support.  Through strength-based assessment and service planning, the team of Case Managers work with individuals, 18 and older, who are being discharged from an inpatient level of care and need support with linking to community resources and building self-advocacy skills amongst other recovery-oriented services.
  • Enhanced Case Management
    This highly specialized service is provided to eligible individuals who need daily contact. In addition to traditional services and supports, this program offers treatment services to included psychiatric assessment, medication monitoring and nursing support and education.
  • Intensive Case Management
    Case Managers provide face to face support every 14 days, however contact and service can be more frequently if necessary. Phone and on-site crisis prevention and intervention are provided as needed.
  • Resource Coordination
CHL is a service designed to work with individuals with serious and persistent mental illness who are medically complicated having debilitating medical conditions including but not limited to kidney disease, diabetes, and severe reflux. In addition, the team is also able to work with women who are pregnant, as well as, individuals that require bi-weekly injections for their psychiatric medications. The program objective is to ensure that people remain in the community whenever possible and that they receive necessary medical care in order to live their most fulfilling lives. Areas of focus will include increasing an individual’s ability to function within their home community, reducing the need for more intensive services, developing and maintaining independence, strengthening social supports, and overall enhancement of the person’s quality of life. Responsibilities will include: assessment, service planning, linking, and monitoring psychiatric/medical status, support network building, problem resolution, obtaining resources, education, and advocacy.
CSBBH services are provided to children with serious emotional or behavioral challenges, which may impact their ability to be educated and function in home and community settings. Services are provided within the school setting, however services can be provided outside of school hours, during evenings and weekends, in home and community settings to meet the needs of youth and families. Services provided by the CSBBH team include individual, family and/or group psychotherapy for children and/or parents/caregivers, behavioral modification and coping skills, modeling, one-to-one and/or group rehabilitation, assessments, crisis intervention, case management and client-centered case consultation with teachers and other school personnel.
Services are provided to children and adults experiencing an acute psychiatric emergency in the community. Trained professional staff provide phone and face-to-face intervention to evaluate supports and services needed to help the individual access care. The goal is to provide services in the least restrictive setting. Consumers are encouraged to use personal wellness recovery action plans (WRAP) and advanced directives when available and appropriate. Care is coordinated with other providers, family members and any others designated by the individual.
DDTT is comprised of a specialized mobile team of professionals including a Psychiatrist, a Behavioral Specialist, Recovery Coordinators, a Nurse, and a Pharmacist, providing treatment, support, and education for individuals in the community diagnosed with a mental illness and co-morbidity development disability. Individuals referred to DDTT are in crisis, at risk of losing community tenure, and/or are transitioning from acute care hospitalization.

Merakey has developed a continuum of services to help seniors remain independent and in their own homes and communities as long as possible. Merakey programs provide alternatives to nursing facilities. Services include:

  • Home support services
  • Personal assistance services
  • In-home counseling
  • Peer counseling
  • In some locations, Merakey provides consultation and counseling at senior centers as well as services to individuals returning to community settings from nursing homes.
FBMH is an intensive program, provided in the family home and/or community for children and adolescents up to the age of 21 who are in jeopardy of being hospitalized or referred to an out-of-home placement due to a mental health diagnosis and/or family challenges. A team provides intensive in-home therapy for both the family and the individual utilizing the state approved Ecosystemic Family Therapy model based upon Structured Family Therapy. Additional supports include casework services, family support services, and 24 hour a day, 7 days a week availability for crisis stabilization. Services are provided to the identified child as well as other family members in order to enhance skills, ensure continuity of care and reduce out of home placement.

This service is intended to provide supports by staff who have direct experience utilizing public mental health services. Participants benefit from assistance with developing a wellness recovery action plan which will identify their personal goals and objectives for recovery. Peer Specialists are trained to assist with advocacy, building natural community supports, role modeling and service coordination. Services and supports are an adjunct to additional treatment and services offered and must be requested by the individual.

Certified Peer Specialist Program

These services are provided by a person who has personal experience receiving services from the public mental health system. Services include:

  • Advocacy
  • Role modeling and support in building natural supports
  • Enhancing personal relationships
  • Service coordination
  • Benefit coordination
  • Wellness Recovery Action Planning

Merakey, in Montgomery County, PA, works with the North Penn School District (Penndale Middle School and North Penn Senior High School) to provide regular psychotherapeutic counseling for children/adolescents with emotional and behavioral needs in a school-based setting. This satellite school-based clinic allows therapeutic services to be delivered in a setting more convenient for the child/adolescent and their family. This service also minimizes missed school time and it provides enhanced communication and collaboration between Merakey and the schools.

Counseling services are provided by master’s level psychotherapists who have experience working with children/adolescents who may struggle with grief and loss issues, anxiety and depressive symptoms, adjusting to changes at home such as parent separation or divorce, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If warranted, medication services can be provided at our outpatient clinic, located at 400 North Broad Street, Lansdale, PA 19446 by a Board Certified Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist. Outpatient services are the lowest level of care available in the mental health continuum. Outpatient services seek to address a person’s emotional, behavioral, and relationship concerns as soon as they are identified to avoid increased distress and disruption to the quality of life at home and at school. At times, if there is a demonstrated need for a higher level of care, the outpatient program therapist will identify it and refer for additional services accordingly.

For more information about this service or to learn how to enroll, please contact 215-368-2022.

SAP is a school-based intervention and referral program. Students with mental health challenges are identified and referred by guidance counselors, teachers and other school personnel for appropriate services to address their unique needs. Mental Health Counselors and Assessors work with students in their own school setting providing services such as initial evaluations, assessments, support groups, and crisis intervention. Individual and group counseling is also provided in order to support students in overcoming academic barriers.

Supported Employment provides one-on-one job support to help individuals with mental health challenges obtain competitive, meaningful employment. Assistance is provided in job preparation, relationships building including understanding the work place, and skills training. The amount and frequency of support is tailored to meet each individual's needs. This program also assists with job development and identifying potential sources for employment.

As an affiliate of the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN), Merakey provides a variety of permanency services to children and their families through its Supports for Permanency program.

  • Child Profile

    A written profile is suggested for all children in the custody of county child welfare agencies. Child profiles can assist in recruitment activities and identifying possible matches for placement to occur, assist in the sharing of information with prospective families who are being considered to provide permanency, identify strengths and possible risk factors that might be useful in the placement adjustment period, and maintain a history for the child as a resource of information for his/her later life. Referral for this service is by the county agency with custody of the child.

  • Child Preparation for Permanence

    Children in out-of-home placement have experienced significant losses. A Child Preparation worker can help clarify the reasons for removal and separation from the child's family, provide an opportunity to grieve losses, and help the child establish a more secure foundation for identity formulation. Referral for this service is by the county agency with custody of the child.

  • Child Specific Recruitment (CSR)

    The child specific recruitment unit of service ensures that all opportunities for finding a family for a child have been pursued. Merakey works closely with the county agency to develop a plan for recruitment activities. Referral for this service is by the county agency with custody of the child.

  • Family Profile

    The family profile process is an extensive one that focuses on developing the family's attitudes, knowledge, and skills so that they can effectively parent children who have been separated from their families. The family profile process includes orientation of the family to the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network and child welfare systems, training on issues relevant to special needs children and permanence, completion of the family profile document, continuing education pending placement, and registration with the Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange.

  • Placement and Finalization

    These services ensure proper planning and decision-making for children who are transitioning to an adoptive family. Post-placement supervision is provided to support the child and family as they move toward adoption finalization. Referral for these services is by the county agency with custody of the child.

  • Post-Permanency Services

    Families parenting children who have experienced abuse, neglect, and separation from their birth families often find they need additional support. Through its Supports for Permanency program, Merakey can assist families in identifying needs and implementing strategies to help children with these special needs continue to thrive and grow. Adoptive families, as well as kinship care or permanent legal custodianship families residing in Pennsylvania are eligible for these services. Post-permanency services are considered preventative in nature and are completely voluntary. Post-permanency services include:

    • advocacy for post-permanency services (assessment and case management);
    • support group services; and
    • respite services.

    Families are encouraged to self-refer for post-permanency services by contacting the SWAN HelpLine at 1-800-585-SWAN, and requesting Merakey (affiliate #89) as their preferred provider. Post Permanency services are available at no cost to families.

Residential Services

(Services provided in Merakey owned homes or in homes of Foster Care families)

Merakey provides a range of residential programs and housing options to adults which offer differing levels of support. These programs provide a safe living environment, assist individuals to live successfully in the community of their choice, and promote recovery from serious mental illness.

This program is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provides counseling and rehabilitative services to help residents develop skills in personal living tasks, such as medication management, meal preparation, housekeeping and budgeting so that they can live independently.

A short-term, non-hospital based program that is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week providing treatment and support for acute psychiatric crises to aid in stabilizing symptoms. The program utilizes a multi-disciplinary staff and treatment approach.

A secure, structured treatment residential setting that is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Intensive supports are built into the program utilizing a multi-disciplinary staff to provide individualized assessment, treatment and rehabilitation services. Medication management, meals and other personal living supports are also provided. The goal of this program is to divert individuals from the State Hospital level of care and to decrease the acuity of their symptoms and help them to use systemic and natural supports to live in other community-based residential programs or independent living.

A highly structured, secure home that is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It provides individualized treatment and habilitation services as well as assistance with personal care needs. The goal of this program is to help individuals to move to more independent community living and providing ongoing support to minimize inpatient psychiatric treatment.

This program is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days and week and provides counseling and rehabilitative services to help residents develop skills in personal living tasks, such as medication management, meal preparation, housekeeping and budgeting so that they can live independently.

Provides services such as housekeeping, medication management, meal preparation, and budgeting to individuals in their own home. The goal of this program is to support people to live successfully in their own home and community.

Foster Care

Therapeutic Family Care (TFC) provides a pathway to repairing and rebuilding the relationships between children and their natural support system. Services include: individual and family therapy, treatment meetings, case management, and integration of treatment goals in the home and community. Children participating in TFC are supported by a treatment team that includes: a child’s natural supports/families, Merakey MA level therapists, Merakey BA level case managers, and specialized Merakey foster families that are specifically trained to assist children with severe and persistent mental health diagnoses and behavioral issues. Other members of the team can include psychologists, psychiatrists, educational providers, county agencies, and insurance companies.

Therapeutic Family Care differs from traditional foster care in the kind of treatment provided, as well as the level of support provided to foster families. TFC foster families are responsible for providing day-to-day care for children in the program, as well as implementing supportive elements of the child’s clinical treatment plan. TFC foster families are also a significant part of the transfer of skills to the child’s natural supports/families to ensure a successful return to home or to another positive discharge resource. Foster families also receive intensive support from the clinical team. All foster parents are educated with a minimum of 40 hours of clinical training designed to assist with understanding behavior, diagnosis, de-escalation of behavior, and a variety of other training topics that support children with significant and persistent mental illness and behavioral challenges. In addition to training, foster families are supported weekly with multiple home visits and in-home therapy by the treatment team, access to Merakey 24/7 crisis response, respite services, and a generous tax-free daily stipend and expense reimbursement significantly higher than traditional foster care agencies.

Merakey offers a more traditional form of foster care services through the Foster Care Plus program (FCP). FCP utilizes the same families identified to support Therapeutic Family Care children and is only available to children supported by the child welfare system – County Children and Youth & Juvenile Probation programs. Traditional foster care services provide a similar approach to treatment and care of the child, with a less intense focus on mental health diagnosis and behavioral issues. Foster families participating in traditional foster care still have access to the same levels of support as the Therapeutic Family Care program through regularly scheduled home visits, case management, access to Merakey 24/7 crisis support, and a generous tax-free daily stipend and expense reimbursement significantly higher than traditional foster care agencies.

Requirements to be a Merakey Foster Family:

Merakey is always seeking individuals and families willing to open their homes and their hearts to children in the foster care system. Merakey is an industry leader in meeting the unique needs of foster families by providing crisis support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, holding frequent support groups specifically tailored to foster parents, providing quality pre-service and ongoing trainings, as well as a generous tax-free daily stipend and expense reimbursement significantly higher than traditional foster care agencies. To qualify, families must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Obtain PA Child Abuse and Criminal Clearances
  • Obtain an FBI fingerprint clearance
  • Pass a physical by a medical doctor
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Have a valid driver's license
  • Prove financial stability without the stipend from Merakey
  • Agree to be an active participant of a treatment team and attend treatment meetings

For more information on how you can become a foster parent, please call 1-877-TFC-2210 (1-877-832-2210) or send us a message!

Substance Use Disorder Services

Merakey is committed to addressing the impact of addiction on the community, family, and individual. Merakey offers clients comprehensive clinical, evidence-based practice, and therapeutic programs which incorporate best-practice interventions using a multi-disciplinary team approach. While Merakey provides services to those who struggle with addictions, we recognize that frequently there are also overlapping mental health issues that need to be addressed. Effective treatment necessitates treating psychological problems such as anger, depression, anxiety, poor impulse control, and Attention Deficit Disorders concurrently with chemical abuse. As a treatment team, Merakey offers personalized support, treating each client with dignity and respect. Merakey has an active consumer advocacy group.

Community Based Services
  • Group and individual counseling
  • Drug and alcohol education
  • Life skills management
  • Women's Trauma or TREM group
  • Relapse prevention planning
  • Mental health assessments
  • Family counseling
  • Narcotic outpatient detoxification program
  • Medication management, including Methadone and SUBOXONE
  • HIV counseling/testing and drug screening
  • Annual TB testing, as well as Hepatitis B & C screening upon request
Site/Clinic Based Services
  • Pharmacotherapy Programs provide comprehensive treatment for the relief of acute narcotic withdrawal symptoms through medication, including Methadone and SUBOXONE® when indicated.
  • Therapeutic Modalities provide Drug Free & Medication Assisted and Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provides an intensive level of treatment that includes individual counseling and three-hour group therapy sessions.
  • Outpatient Program (OP) provides comprehensive treatment, including individual counseling and specialty groups that address cocaine dependence, parenting skills, life skills, 12-step programs, relapse prevention, culture-specific, and Women's Trauma or TREM group. Each client participates in the creation of an Individualized Treatment Plan that consists of setting goals and interventions.

To schedule an intake appointment or for more information about substance use disorder services in Philadelphia, please call: 1-866-647-0007.