83 Kids and the Law MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT Many children and families benefit from mental and behavioral health ser- vices. Usually children live at home while they and their families get help. Ser- vices may include individual counseling for the child at an office or at school, in-home therapy for the child and family, medication for specific mental health symptoms, and group counseling to help with anger issues and con- flict with peers or parents. (See the Resources section at the end of the book for agencies that provide mental health services and in-home therapy. Family Resource Centers, local clinics, school counselors, and pediatricians can be helpful in finding services.) MENTAL HEALTH HOSPITALIZATION At times children are in crisis and need more help than can be provided in the home or community. These children may be severely depressed, suicid- al, out of touch with reality (psychotic), or engaging in risk-taking behaviors that place them (or others) in extreme danger. When children appear at risk of harm to themselves or someone else, they may need the level of services that are provided in a hospital. What happens if a child is at home, at school, at court or in the community and is having a mental health crisis, for example, expressing suicidal thoughts? The child needs to be evaluated by a trained mental health professional such as a social worker or a mental health counselor to assess the child’s level of danger to themselves or others and the kinds of services that might be helpful. How this happens depends on the child’s insurance. For a child who is insured by MassHealth*, a parent, teacher or school admin- istrator, or a probation officer may call the Emergency Service Program (ESP) also known as “Mobile Crisis Intervention” (See Resources Section) to come to the home or school to evaluate the child. The school must contact the parent or guardian before calling the ESP. If the child’s insurance is unknown, ESP will help the parent or school determine where the child can be evaluated. At court the mental health professional is a clinician who works for the Juvenile Court Clinic and functions as the ESP. Mental Health and Substance Use Issues 8