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Supporting young people in mind & spirit

When young people on Long Island struggle with mental or emotional health issues, are faced with adversity or require support to function in a healthy manner in their family, school or community, the Comprehensive Outpatient Behavioral Services (COBS) program at South Oaks Hospital offers help. We work with young people and their families on an outpatient basis to identify and treat emotional disturbances, strengthen family bonding, and help patients develop skills that can be used at home and in school and other everyday situations. The holistic treatment provided through COBS can help provide support as young people move between their home and school, and between agencies, primary care providers and other care settings.

COBS provides care to children and adolescents from ages 5 to 21, and focuses on a variety of issues, including anxiety, anger management, depression, mood changes, self-harm and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Patient safety and confidentiality is a priority at all times.

Clinic hours are Monday through Thursday, 9am to 9pm, Friday, 10am to 6pm, and Saturday, 8am to 4pm. During hours of operations, licensed clinical social workers, mental health counselors and family therapists are available to provide individual and group therapy to patients and their loved ones. During the week, prescribers are available to provide psychiatric evaluations and medication services. Treatment goals include:

  • Developing positive coping skills to be able to manage uncomfortable emotions without resorting to negative behaviors
  • Building a fact-based understanding of their diagnosis, including symptoms and medications
  • Establishing a belief in their potential that includes recognizing their achievements and identifying their strengths
  • Developing a new way of thinking (the “wise mind” of dialectical behavioral therapy) to be able to better manage their behavior
  • Beginning to form and move toward goals and dreams for the future

Our team

Treatment in COBS is based on trust and caring, and our staff members emphasize building relationships with the young people and families in our program in order to provide effective support.

Case coordinators (licensed social workers, mental health counselors and family therapists) lead and facilitate therapeutic sessions with patients and families, including: 

  • Individual sessions, in which patients can discuss specific needs, treatment goals and progress. These may be held weekly or biweekly; in addition, crisis management is available at all times. Depending on the age of the patient, these sessions may include talk, play and art therapy.
  • Group sessions, in which participants learn a variety of skills designed to help improve symptoms. Sessions include discussions and activities on topics such as anger management, substance abuse and other concerns that can impact young people. In addition, some groups provide an opportunity for dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which builds skills that can improve distress tolerance, reduce impulsive behavior and help patients better manage their symptoms.
  • Family therapy sessions, in which patients and loved ones can work together to improve relations and communication, establish rules and limits and find healthy ways to manage losses.

Psychiatrists and nurse practitioners are available to perform psychiatric evaluations in order to explore patients’ history and symptoms and develop recommendations for continued care. They also provide medication management services to patients who may benefit from psychotropic medications.

Art therapists manage group therapy and encourage members to express themselves creatively with specialized art projects.

What we offer

Clinic services include:

  • Assessments (psychiatric, psychosocial)
  • Individual, family and group therapy
  • Medication management
  • Case management
  • Medication management
  • Referrals
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