NEWS | December 14, 2018

Community mental health clinic serves children in need


Through a well-established partnership with the Sacramento County Department of Health Services, UC Davis Health psychiatrists and psychologists deliver specialized mental health care for children under the age of 21.

Robert Horst
Robert Horst

“We provide a range of services that can help children and families who are facing challenging situations, from trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder to anxiety, depression and early manifestation of thought disorders,” said Robert Horst, a UC Davis child and adolescent psychiatrist who cares for patients at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services (CAPS) clinic in Sacramento.

Horst is the medical director of the County Child and Adolescent Services and is respected in the community for a variety of consultations he provides to children’s providers. He leads a team of six UC Davis specialists, as well as a variety of trainees, including students, interns, residents and fellows who deliver services and benefit from this clinical training environment.

Together they provide psychiatric assessments, medication management, psychological testing and mental health services to children and youth. Completing this clinical team are Sacramento County mental health staff, as well as contracted peer and family advocate services.

The clinic is open five days a week and cares for children who are on Medi-Cal or other public insurances. More than 500 individuals visit the clinic each year, with the majority of patients receiving care weekly or multiple times throughout the year.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 children nationwide struggle with a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder, from anxiety, depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to disruptive behavior disorder and Tourette’s syndrome.

With early diagnosis, clinical treatment and support services, children and their families can get the care they need to help them lead healthier lives at home and school.

“The CAPS clinic provides essential mental health services to children in the county and is a critical consultation bridge across our broad community-based system of service. We are very proud of our over 25-year collaboration that helps children and families,” said Uma Zykofsky, a licensed social worker and Behavioral Health Director for Sacramento County.