County Mental Health Services

Multisystemic Therapy (MST)

MST is an evidence-based, short-term clinical model that works with families of 11- to 17-year-old youth who have been referred for behavioral or emotional concerns by the juvenile justice, mental health, school, or child welfare systems. Over the course of 3-5 months, MST clinicians work with families multiple times a week. EMBRACE also has a 24/7 hotline for crises. While the youth is ideally involved this is not strictly required, since MST focuses more on supporting clients through working with caregivers and their surrounding natural supports and systems. With caregivers actively engaged, clinicians use solution-focused interventions with the goal of bringing together and equipping key players in the youth’s network to increase prosocial behavior, stability, and mental wellness.

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In order to reduce barriers to access and maximize engagement, MST clinicians work with family members in their home and via Telehealth as needed. The team at EMBRACE includes bilingual (Spanish-speaking) clinicians and many forms are available in Spanish. The crisis support hotline similarly has one English-speaking and one Spanish-speaking clinician on call at all times.


MST clinicians are committed to identifying strengths and resources that already exist in a family’s network and create a service plan focused on solutions and changes that the network can maintain after MST ends. Research on MST shows that this model works especially well to keep youth safely at home, in school or working, and out of trouble with the law.


EMBRACE puts high value on making sure that services work as intended. From years of data collection, we know that with a typical treatment length of only 4 months, approximately 90% of youth who receive MST through EMBRACE complete treatment, and less than 10% of recipients experience new arrests or out-of-home placement.

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A range of resources that may be of use for clients and caregivers.

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