Hoag Launches Young Adults Mental Health Program to Meet Growing Need

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., May 4, 2021 — In response to the growing concern around mental health, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the team of neurobehavioral health experts at Hoag’s Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute has designed an accredited, outpatient program to target the specific mental health needs for young adults ages 18 to 26.

The Hoag Young Adults Mental Health Program will help individuals in this very vulnerable age group who are struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, OCD, PTSD and other symptoms relating to a mood disorder or mental health issue, navigate the challenges of the transition into adulthood. Led by a team of experts, this treatment program equips young adults with tools to adopt coping strategies and build healthy relationships.

“The negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on young adults will be felt for many years to come and it is imperative, now more than ever, to offer a program that supports those transitioning to one of the most crucial stages of life – adulthood,” said Michael Brant-Zawadzki, M.D., F.A.C.R., Hoag’s senior physician executive and the Ron & Sandi Simon Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair of Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute. “This program empowers young adults to better meet the stresses and pitfalls common to this stage of life.”

The Young Adults Mental Health Program uses dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy in a group setting. Participants of the eight-week program will meet in person, three days a week to build relationship skills, which can improve effectiveness in school, work, and interpersonal situations.

“Part of what makes our program stand out is the experienced, interdisciplinary treatment team,” said Sina Safahieh, M.D., program director and child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. “Our licensed therapists are among the top in their field, and with access to Hoag’s superior Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute, we are able to reach young adults with evidenced-based, proven methods.”

The Young Adults Mental Health Program, along with other Hoag Neurobehavioral Health programs, received accreditation from Counsel on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

A key focus of the program is improving participants’ sense of self to better incorporate strategies related to emotional regulation and distress tolerance. People going through the program will learn and be encouraged to apply effective coping skills to their day-to-day lives.

“As a psychiatrist, I have never seen this level of anxiety and depression in the community as I have over the past year. It is critical at the stage of a person’s life when they’re making the transition between adolescence and adulthood, that they establish and maintain healthy relationships with not only themselves but with family members, friends and the community,” Dr. Safahieh said. “This program will help them to build their own identity.”

Community support through philanthropy is essential to providing these highly demanded services. For more information about how to support the program, call 949.764.7210.

To learn more about the Hoag Young Adults Mental Health Program, please visit hoag.org/yamh.


Delivering a personalized, integrated approach using best-practice guidelines, the most advanced technology, and integration of medical specialists in the most appropriate facilities, the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute (PFNI) at Hoag provides world class care for patients with specific conditions of the brain and spine such as stroke, aneurysms and vascular malformations, brain tumors, epilepsy, movement disorders, memory and cognitive disorders, pain, minimally invasive spine surgery, multiple sclerosis, addiction medicine and sleep disorders, as well as the mind-body interface of mental health. Many of Hoag’s PFNI programs have received high acclaim. Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 hospital in Orange County and ranked No. 27 nationally in Neurology & Neurosurgery, placing it in the top 1% of hospitals across the U.S., and the only hospital in the top 30 without a formal academic residency program in neurology or neurosurgery. The Hoag Stroke Program was the first in Orange County and the second in California to be named a Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center by DNV GL Healthcare and was awarded the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement for stroke care. And as one of the first centers in the U.S. to offer the most advanced radiosurgical treatment system available, Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™, the PFNI brain tumor program is the largest in Orange County and is also among the top volume programs in the western United States. Hoag has been recognized as a designated Level 4 Comprehensive Epilepsy Center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. The PFNI’s memory and cognitive disorders program is nationally recognized.


Hoag is a nonprofit, regional health care delivery network in Orange County, California, that treats more than 30,000 inpatients and 480,000 outpatients annually. Hoag consists of two acute-care hospitals – Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, which opened in 1952, and Hoag Hospital Irvine, which opened in 2010 – in addition to nine health centers and 13 urgent care centers. Hoag has invested $261 million in programs and services to support the underserved community within the past five years, including areas like mental health, homelessness, transportation for seniors, education, and support for single mothers. Hoag is a designated Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Hoag offers a comprehensive blend of health care services that includes five institutes providing specialized services in the following areas: cancerheart and vascularneuroscienceswomen’s health, and orthopedics through Hoag’s affiliate, Hoag Orthopedic Institutewhich consists of an orthopedic hospital and four ambulatory surgical centers. In the 2020 – 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Rankings, Hoag is the highest ranked hospital in Orange County and the only OC hospital ranked in the Top 10 in California. For an unprecedented 23 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as one of the county’s best hospitals in a local newspaper survey. Visit www.hoag.org for more information.