• Reframe Children’s Mental Health podcast logo

Reframe Children’s Mental Health Podcast

Welcome to Reframe Children’s Mental Health, a new podcast from the Hillside Atlanta Foundation. The Hillside Atlanta Foundation supports Hillside in its mission to help children and families thrive by providing outstanding residential and community behavioral health services.

Our podcast explores the latest child and family behavioral health treatment from clinical professionals and experts. You’ll hear stories of hardship and triumph as children and adolescents share their mental health journeys as they struggle and heal. We hope you will find these podcasts illuminating and inspiring, and dispel stigmas you might have regarding children’s mental health. Should you have questions, or want to learn more about Hillside, please visit our website hside.org. Learn how to support our Foundation.

Listen on Apple PodcastsSpotify

Reframe Children’s Mental Health Episodes

Episode 8 – Exploring In-Home Therapy

For youth struggling with mental health, intensive in-home therapy provides a more familiar setting for individuals and their families instead of an office. We interview Tamu and Stephen Lewis who opted for this treatment for their daughter. They discuss the course of treatment, how being home impacted their relationship as a family and improved their ability to communicate. They’ll also talk about how their daughter overcame her initial skepticism to embrace the therapy, and find strength and confidence to thrive.

Episode 7 – Recreational Therapy

Alongside Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, also known as DBT, Hillside practices Recreational Therapy as part of treatment for residential clients. Recreational Therapy utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to help bolster psychological health, lighting the path toward healing, recovery, and increased quality of life. Hillside’s Recreational Therapy programs include horticulture, expressive arts, aquatics, and more.

We hear from Erin Smullen, the Director of Recreational Therapy at Hillside, who explains the significance of Recreational Therapy and how it is used at Hillside. Additionally, Autumn, a former Hillside client, and her family share how Recreational Therapy has made a life-changing impact on Autumn’s life.

Episode 6 – Helping Families Navigate the Care Continuum

The mental health system can be complex for families, from obtaining a proper diagnosis to finding the best treatment in a tapestry of options, at home or in a care facility. Parents and caregivers may need resources to better understand their child’s condition, how to communicate about it effectively, and how they can best support their child.

Hillside’s vice president of clinical programs, Amy Rene will discuss the continuum of care options that support children and families along the road to hope and healing. Therapist Natasha Merchant will share how Hillside’s Community Program helped a parent obtain in-home care to ensure their child’s momentum towards recovery.We’ll also hear how Hillside’s Community Programs specialized techniques using Triple P Parenting helped a single parent of two understand her child’s needs and gave her tools to support her child’s progress.

Episode 5 – Therapeutic Foster Care

Traditional foster care is not always enough to help a child heal and grow, especially for those enduring trauma from neglect or abuse. Treatment foster care or therapeutic foster care is an alternative that offers hope for both the child and their family and helps foster children feel secure about themselves and around others.

Connections program at Hillside is one of the few foster care programs in Georgia that focuses on children with special emotional needs. The program was designed to provide stability for these children by pairing them with families who are trained and supported to welcome them.

Lorraine Bailey has been a foster parent through Hillside Connections for 20 years. Having grown up watching her mother serve as a foster parent to other children, Lorraine was inspired to do the same. We’ll hear Lorraine’s powerful story, as well as Hillside Connections program director, Kalie Lounds, about how to become a foster parent or support volunteer.

Episode 4 – Exploring Virtual Therapy from Home

In the midst of the COVID-19 era, virtual therapy has become essential for many. We’ll look at Hillside’s virtual in-home outpatient program and how it’s made a difference for 16-year-old Thomas and his family. Thomas struggled with mental health issues, and his parents were at a loss. Through Hillside’s virtual IOP program, Thomas was able to learn practical coping skills. Taylor Whelchel, Hillside’s program manager, and Jayson Rodriguez, Hillside’s community programs clinical director will also discuss the challenges of transitioning in-person therapy to a virtual platform.

Episode 3 – The Importance of Compassion in Therapy

Exploring compassion continues to be a key component in treating mental health. On this episode of Reframe Children’s Mental Health, we’ll hear how mindfulness not only brought compassion into a child and their family’s life, but inspired her to give back and make a difference in the lives of other children facing mental health challenges by creating Thread for Therapy. She created a line of bracelets, many featuring words of inspiration, and donated the proceeds to the Hillside Atlanta Foundation.

Episode 2 – Self-Harm and Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents

Self harm and suicidal ideation among adolescents is a serious issue in our country and thanks to treatment such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), lives are being saved. On this episode of Reframe Children’s Mental Health, we hear from Maya, a Hillside client, and Christina Fiddes LCSW, a lead therapist at Hillside’s in-patient program. They discuss Maya’s recovery from self harm and suicidal ideation, what worked and how, and signs parents can look for in their children, especially under the additional pressures of enduring the pandemic.

Episode 1 – The Velez Family

Bryan Velez, 17, and his parents Wendy and Luis discuss mental health triggers and self-harm, the path through residential treatment and embracing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and ultimately adjusting to life with renewed hope as a family. Kimberly Young, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Hillside Assistant Medical Director, narrates this episode. You’ll also hear from one of our former day program clinicians, Dr. Kimberly Vay.

The music on “Reframe Children’s Mental Health” is provided by audionautix.com.


The Hillside Atlanta Foundation helps Hillside give healing and hope to children and their families, so that every Hillside child has the help they need to build a life worth living.

Learn more about our mission and our foundation.