Mclean Hospital

Support, Treatment, and Resilience Program

STAR Offers Mental Health Care for Teens and Young Adults

Patient and clinician talk outside

Please Note: Several of McLean’s child and adolescent treatment programs have moved online during the COVID-19 crisis.

Please contact the program directly for more information.


The Support, Treatment, and Resilience (STAR) Program delivers high-quality outpatient care to teens and young adults ages 14-25 who are at risk of psychotic illnesses.

The program offers individual therapy and medication management for young people who are experiencing changes that impact thinking, emotions, behavior, and functioning that may indicate an increased risk for psychosis.

For more information or to make a referral, please call 617.855.3663.

Young woman patient meets with clinician
STAR provides early intervention treatment for teens and young adults at risk for developing psychotic disorders

If you or your loved one are experiencing any of these changes, STAR may be able to help:

  • Difficulty thinking clearly/concentrating or expressing thoughts clearly
  • Changes in speech, such as vague or unusual speech patterns
  • Changes in thought content, including suspiciousness, emerging odd thoughts, or unusual beliefs
  • Perceptual disturbances, such as increased sensitivity to sights, sounds, hearing one’s name being called, or hearing or seeing things that others do not
  • Difficulty expressing or understanding emotion
  • Increased sadness, anger, irritability
  • Decreased motivation or withdrawing from friends and family
  • New problems at school or work, including falling grades or difficulty completing assignments
  • Worsening hygiene or a lack of concern about appearance

The program is also suitable for young people who may have a close relative diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.

STAR is covered by most insurance carriers. Length of treatment varies depending on the needs of the individual.

For those who are seeking treatment following a first episode of psychosis, please consider McLean OnTrack.

Treatment Approach

The goal of the STAR Program is to intervene early to promote mental well-being and improve functioning at home, school, work and social life.

A majority of mental health disorders have roots in childhood and adolescence. In teens and young adults, it can be difficult to differentiate between the normal challenges of growing up and emerging mental illness.

STAR’s clinicians focus on helping patients to understand the changes they are experiencing. With a focus on resilience, the STAR Program, helps teens and young adults manage stress, anxiety, and uncertainty, maintain daily routines, set and meet goals, and learn self-care.

Each patient meets regularly with a program therapist and psychiatrist. Our staff creates treatment plans geared to the specific needs of the individual.

Treatment is customized for each patient and can include:

  • Diagnostic assessment, treatment planning, and education
  • Individual therapy and mindful use of medication, when appropriate
  • Treatment of underlying illnesses such as anxiety, depression
  • Learning skills for coping, emotional regulation, reducing stress, and reaching goals
  • Use of motivational interviewing, a proven treatment model for substance use
  • Family support

Admission & Cost

Admission

The STAR Program is ideal for adolescents and young adults ages 14-25 who are experiencing changes in thoughts, behavior, emotions, or functioning.

Speaking with a trained professional about diagnosis and treatment is a critical first step in early intervention and in understanding and addressing the problem. Contact us now to get help for you or your loved one.

For further information about the program or to make a referral, please contact:

Sarah Burke, LICSW, Program Director
Phone: 617.855.3663
Email: sgburke@partners.org

Referral Forms

Prior to admission, we review prospective patients to determine whether the program is a good fit for the individual. Please fill out the STAR Program Referral Form. Once the form is received, someone from the program will get in touch.

Cost

STAR is covered by most insurance providers.

McLean Hospital accepts Medicare, Massachusetts Medicaid, and many private insurance and managed care plans. More information on insurance providers accepted by McLean Hospital may be found on the Mass General Brigham website.

You may also find it beneficial to review McLean’s patient billing and financial assistance information.

Treatment Team

Program Leadership

Sarah Burke, LICSWSarah Burke, LICSW, Program Director

Ms. Burke began working at McLean Hospital in 2016 as a clinical social worker at the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Inpatient Program. She holds a BA in Social Work from Providence College, and earned her Master of Social Work degree from Simmons College.


Perihan Esra Guvenek-Cokol, MDPerihan Esra Guvenek-Cokol, MD, Medical Director

Dr. Guvenek-Cokol is a double board certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. She specializes in emerging mental illness in teens and young adults. Her expertise is in early stages of psychotic and bipolar disorders, along with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders. Dr. Guvenek-Cokol is also the medical director of the Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI Jr.).


Joseph Stoklosa, MD

Joseph Stoklosa, MD, Clinical Director, Center of Excellence in Psychotic Disorders

Dr. Stoklosa is also the assistant program director for the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program. He is actively involved in educational research and founded the Clinician Educator Program for the MGH/McLean residency program. Dr. Stoklosa also developed the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Inpatient Program’s clinical care model, which is focused on improving the use of evidence-based treatment.


Staff and Associates

At STAR, our clinical social worker works together with our psychiatrists. The team strives to build trusting and collaborative relationships with patients and family members in a caring and supportive environment.

The STAR Program operates within the Center of Excellence in Psychotic Disorders, led by Dost Öngür, MD, PhD.

FAQ

Where is STAR located?

The program is located on the Belmont campus in the Admissions Building. For more information on directions, parking, and local accommodations, please visit our Maps & Directions page.

Who benefits most from the STAR Program?

STAR’s outpatient care focuses on early intervention for symptoms that may or may not lead to a psychotic disorder. Teens and young adults ages 14-25 may be experiencing changes in thoughts, emotions, functioning, or behaviors.

Is family involved in treatment?

Family involvement in their loved one’s treatment is strongly encouraged. We offer support for family members.

Is smoking permitted?

Smoking is allowed in designated outdoor areas only. No smoking is allowed inside any of our buildings.

Are cell phones allowed?

Cell phone use is strongly discouraged during treatment and in the waiting room to prevent disruption of the program and others.

Can former patients access their medical records?

All requests for medical records should be directed to McLean’s Health Information Management Department.

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