Princeton House Behavioral Health (PHBH), an organization with multiple sites in New Jersey that treat mental illness and addiction issues, recently initiated a program for girls ages 13 to 18 who are dealing with mood and behavioral issues.
The new program is called Supporting Adolescent Girls Emotionally, or SAGE, and provides a supportive environment for girls to explore development issues that are unique to females as they transition into young adulthood.
“Adolescence is a challenging time for most people and many young women need some additional support,” said Nathalie Edmond, PsyD, associate executive director of outpatient services and director of the Women’s Program at PHBH. “Often, however, they are not comfortable discussing problems in a co-ed environment, which is why we established a program specifically for girls.”
Girls wrestling with the pressures of adolescence may struggle with depression, anxiety and low self-esteem and some may try to cope through dangerous behaviors such as self-injury (cutting), alcohol and drug use, or high-risk sexual activity. Girls may develop disordered eating patterns, display aggressive behavior, socialize with older crowds or withdraw from social interaction.
The SAGE program is designed to help girls develop healthy communication skills and positive self-esteem and to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and the full spectrum of traumatic disorders.
The program provides:
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills training and structure to reduce self-injurious behavior and to increase the ability to manage emotions
- Psychoeducation on issues related to body image, safety, loss, relationships, trauma, and substance use
- Support and education for families in a weekly psychoeducation group
SAGE opened earlier this month at the PHBH Princeton/Women outpatient center, in Princeton, New Jersey.