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The Latin American Youth Center joins thousands of organizations across the country in observance of Mental Health Month.


  • It is estimated that between 7,300 to 9,200 adolescents in the District of Columbia have a mental health diagnosis.
  • The District ranks 38th in meeting children's mental health needs (Commonwealth Fund)
  • 3 in 4 children do not get treatment
  • One in four middle and high school students self-report symptoms of depression
  • One in seven youth made a plan about how to attempt suicide; and
  • One in ten youth experiences a severe mental health problem annually
  • One in nine youth experiencing addiction is referred to treatment, and only one in 43 successfully completes it.
  • In Maryland, 62,000 children live with serious mental health conditions (NAMI, 2010)
  • During the 2006-07 school year, approximately 50 percent of Maryland students aged 14 and older living with serious mental health conditions who receive special education services dropped out of high school.

About LAYC's Mental Health Services

The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) is a certified Core Service Agency (CSA) through the Department of Mental Health to provide mental health rehabilitation services to youth. Services are provided in English and/or Spanish.

The program provides out-patient mental health treatment. Services integrate the strengths of each individual and family relationships, respond to individual cultural differences, and incorporate each individual's needs into treatment plans. LAYC's Treatment Team uses various approaches, among them are Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) including medication management, and other rehabilitation services. TF-CBT approach is a systematic approach treatment grounded in cognitive-behavioral therapy. It is developed for children/youth that have experienced trauma and are exhibiting symptoms that may have a profound and long-lasting negative impact on their daily functioning, health, and safety. CPP is an intervention for children from birth through age five who have experienced at least one traumatic event and as a result are experiencing behavior, attachment, and/or mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The primary goal of CPP is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her parents (or caregivers) as a vehicle for restoring the child's sense of safety, attachment, and appropriate affect and improving the child's cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning.

Services are provided on-site, at homes, and schools.

Who is Eligible?

  • Youth between the ages 0 to 5 (recommended for CPP) and 12 to 21;
  • Residents of the District of Columbia;
  • Youth experiencing emotional, psychological or behavioral problems.


  • Assessment;
  • Individual, group, and family counseling;
  • Crisis intervention;
  • Psychiatric evaluations, medication management;
  • Community support;
  • Referrals.

Contact Information

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Admissions Coordinator/Community Support Specialist

Tel: (202) 319-2229

Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2016 13:46