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School Year Program During COVID-19

Day Treatment Intensive Outpatient Program 

At Aris Clinic, our goal is to help kids before their mental health issues cause significant difficulties in their families, schools and/or communities. We specialize in a mental health Day Treatment Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for kids ages 5–18 struggling with emotional and behavioral health issues.

This is a Monday – Friday, full-day in-person program that includes therapy and onsite education services. The program is short-term. Patients typically transition back to their regular school within 6–12 weeks.

Aris Clinic Day Treatment Therapy

Patients receive 3 hours of group therapy daily. Each day includes a Therapeutic Process Group, a Therapeutic Skills Group using an acceptance and commitment therapy curriculum, and a Psychoeducation Group. All groups are interactive for each group member. Group sizes are limited to 10 members for grades 7-12 and 6 members for grades K-6.

In addition to group therapy, our program includes:

  • Psychiatry sessions as needed 1-3 times per week. 
  • Individual therapy as needed. 
  • Weekly family therapy. 

School with Intensive Outpatient Treatment

When a child or adolescent meets criteria for a Day Treatment IOP, many people think achieving mental stability trumps academics. We have learned differently. A child’s mental state is often deeply woven into the academic and social success that he or she is experiencing in the school setting. For this reason, our full-time teachers support students continuing their academics while also seeking mental health treatment.

We collaborate with local school districts to incorporate regular schooling into the daily IOP. By providing schooling within the therapeutic programming, our team can teach strategies for acceptance and healthy routines. In addition, it enables us to clarify a patient’s diagnosis, treatment and discharge readiness.

We provide education services to all patients using NE Metro 916 curriculum and general/special education teachers. Our program has a low student to teacher ratio (14:1 for grades 7–12 and 6:1 for grades K–6). In addition, frequent teacher interaction is provided to support students with educational needs. Teachers coordinate appropriate courses and learning materials to support each student.

How Education Services Work

Upon patient enrollment, parents are asked to sign a Release of Information (ROI) so that school contact may be made. The teachers work closely with home schools to ensure students continue with the curriculum their home school would like the student to focus on. Students in grades 9–12 can choose to continue to pursue their studies from their home high school under the guidance of the 916 teachers. Alternatively, they can use the 916’s curriculum, which is aligned to Minnesota state standards. In addition, there is a strong partnership with the Aris Clinic staff to maintain balance of academics and each student’s treatment goals.

Prior to discharging from the program, the educational team coordinates an assessment review. Family and staff from the patient’s home school are invited to review treatment progress, recommendations for continued care, and any changes made to the individual education plan (IEP). Aris Clinic and teaching staff may consult with the patient’s home school if an alternative educational placement is recommended after IOP treatment.

Aris Clinic School Year Intensive Outpatient Program

Physical Distancing Details 

We are grateful to be able to continue offering in-person Day Treatment IOP services for kids ages 5–18 this school year. We have thoughtfully designed a safe, nature-based therapeutic program that prevents the spread of COVID-19, while still providing a supportive environment for mental health healing.

Extra Safety Measures 

We will closely follow safety and hygiene protocols outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and adjust our approach per their guidance. Safety measures include:

  • Health screening upon arrival for patients and staff.
  • Masks should be worn indoors by anyone age 2 or older.
  • Small group sizes and physical distancing will be maintained.
  • Increased cleaning and hygiene protocols.

Typical School Year Daily Schedule 

Our team works closely with patients and their families to identify problem areas. We group patients by age and therapeutic needs.

  • Program Hours: Monday–Friday; 8:30 a.m. check in, 3:30 p.m. departure
  • 3 Hours of Educational Programming: Patients earn credit for their school work while at Aris clinic through Minnesota’s public Northeast Metro District 916.
  • 3 Hours of Intensive Therapeutic Programming: Group therapy includes activities and learning social, psycho-educational, mindfulness and coping skills.
  • Psychiatry Sessions: 3–5 times per week, based on patient need.
  • Family Therapy: A weekly session to discuss strategies and convey progress.

1 in 5 children ages 13-18 in the U.S. need mental health services; only 20% are likely to receive professional help

Source: National Institute of Mental Health