Adolescent & Child Treatment

Childhood should be filled with joy, fulfillment, growth and nurturing care. Unfortunately for many young people, growing up can be a stressful, traumatic and a painful experience. Help is available for children, pre-teens, and adolescents needing mental health treatment or intervention.

Program Philosophy

We believe that all children do well if they can. We also recognize that many of our youth have had significant trauma in their past lives. Our goal is to help children, teens and their families develop tools and strategies to be successful in treatment. All children and adolescents have unique strengths and talents. Their problems are opportunities for growth. Partnerships between staff and our young patients are predicated on the belief that it is essential that families and caregivers be involved. Maintaining an environment that is trauma informed and that promotes healing and respect for all is vital to successful outcomes for treatment.

Wyoming Behavioral Institute offers the following to children, adolescents and their families:

  • Highly-skilled admission staff
  • Free 24-hour information and referral service
  • Immediately available free assessments for families
  • Crisis stabilization
  • Accessible inpatient treatment

Our Team

Stephen L. Brown, M.D. - Medical Director Stephen L. Brown, M.D. - Medical Director
Dr. Stephen Brown is board certified in General and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. He directs the private practice in child and adolescent psychiatry in Casper. He also is the Medical Director of Wyoming Behavioral Institute. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Southern California and trained at Washington University in St. Louis' Barnes and St. Louis Children's Hospital where he received the Award for Clinical Excellence.

Extensively involved in Wyoming medicine since 1990, Dr. Brown is presently serving on the executive committee of the Wyoming Medical Society and the Wyoming Association of Psychiatric Physician's, alternate delegate to the American Medical Society, and the Western States Deputy Representative to the American Psychiatric Association. He is also on the Assembly Executive Committee of the APA. Dr. Brown has been honored with the Distinguished Fellow of the APA designation. He also teaches psychiatry for the University of Washington and the University of Wyoming to WWAMI students and family practice residents. http://www.mentalhealthwyoming.com/

Lida Prypchan, M.D. Lida Prypchan, M.D.
Dr. Prypchan began her career in psychiatry at a young age, conducting patient interviews while working for her psychiatrist father in his private practice in Venezuela. She completed her medical education at the University of Carabobo in Venezuela, the Universidad Central de Venezuela, and Elmhurst Hospital Center/Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where she also completed a two-year fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Dr. Prypchan's past experience also includes working as a research associate with Matcheri Keshavan, MD, Duncan Clark, MD, Juan Mezzich, MD and at the University of Pittsburgh's Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in the fields of schizophrenia, anxiety disorders in children and adolescents, and diagnostic classification systems in psychiatry.

More than 200 articles authored by Dr. Prypchan have been published. She is a three-time recipient of the National Award of Scientific Journalism in Valencia, Venezuela.

Dr. Prypchan is an attending psychiatrist at Wyoming Behavioral Institute specializing in inpatient treatment for children and adults.

Karri Reliford, PA-C Karri Reliford, PA-C
Karrie Reliford is a Physician Assistant with more than two decades of experience with caring for people of all ages in clinic and hospital settings. She has been on five of the seven continents spending time on medical mission trips taking care of the poorest of the poor. She received her education at Hahnemann University. Karri has worked at Wyoming Behavioral Institute full and part time for many years, rejoining the medical team in 2018 as a full-time provider. Her other interests include horses and hunting.

Sean Olsen, Doctor of Nursing Practice Sean Olsen, Doctor of Nursing Practice
Sean Olsen joined WBI’s medical team in 2018, to provide health care. Sean obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Weber State University, graduating Cum Laude, and master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Arizona. He began practicing as an independent provider in Utah offering urgent care and primary care services. Sean has experience in treating all patient age groups.

Jonna Hilzer-Dickie, Youth Acute Therapy Supervisor Jonna Hilzer-Dickie, Youth Acute Therapy Supervisor
Jonna Hilzer-Dickie is a graduate of Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and she obtained a master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Psychology, Counseling and Guidance. Jonna has worked with many psychiatrists in Community Mental Health Centers and on psychiatric units. Working with a broad population in her career, she particularly enjoys youth and families. Jonna has extensive training and experience in management, program development, and supervision in mental health and substance abuse treatment. More recently, she is certified in the assessment, managing, and treating suicidal patients. Jonna joined WBI’s team in 2017.

Matthew Bertagnole Matthew Bertagnole, Youth Services Director/Director of Residential Services
Matthew Bertagnole is a professional counselor who has a master's degree in counseling and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Wyoming, as well as an associates degree in psychology from Casper College. His previous experience includes spending several years as a case manager supervisor at the Casper Re-Entry Center, where he counseled people facing addiction and mental illness and collaborated with local treatment provides to increase successful discharge rates.

Miranda Blajszczak Mandy Blajszczak, Interim Assistant Director of Nursing
Mandy Blajszczak serves as Youth Acute Nurse Manager and in 2013 was promoted to Interim Assistant Director of Nursing. She obtained her associate's degree in nursing from Casper College and her bachelor's in nursing from the University of Wyoming. She is pursuing a Master's of Business Administration in Healthcare Management. Mandy began her career at WBI in early 2005 as a registered nurse on the children's unit. She continues to have a special interest in the child and young adolescent population. Mandy is a significant proponent of trauma informed care and evidence based practice and strives to implement these into the care provided at WBI.

Kimberly Cossin Kimberly Cossin, Therapist
Kimberly is a licensed professional counselor who completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Queens College, and her master’s degree in mental health counseling at Pace University in New York. While earning her degrees she worked as a behavioral interventions specialist for adults with cognitive disabilities and as a researcher on suicidality and the continuum for suicidal ideation for all populations. Kimberly has actively integrated suicide prevention and intervention into her work as a therapist. Her past experience includes working with Hospice patients and their families. Prior to joining WBI’s team in 2018, Kimberly worked in an outpatient setting in Wyoming as a mental health and substance abuse clinician. She is formally trained in rational emotive behavioral therapy and practices person-centered, dialectical behavior and mindfulness therapies, as well. Kimberly is providing care to children and adolescents at WBI.

Kimberly Cossin Leigh Ann Yaughn, Therapist
Leigh Ann is a National Certified Counselor and licensed professional counselor. She earned her master’s degree in Community Counseling at Columbus State University in Columbus, GA. Leigh Ann’s experience has been in domestic/family violence, trauma, abuse, grief, understanding relationships, and play therapy. She has provided psychoeducational groups in anger management, parenting, co-parenting and domestic violence. Leigh Ann’s approach to counseling is cognitive behavioral therapy. This approach is a form of therapy that encourages patients to challenge distorted thoughts and change destructive patterns of behavior. She is formally trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Leigh Ann is providing care to children and adolescents at WBI.

Melanie Sanchez, LPC Melanie Sanchez, LPC
Melanie is a licensed professional counselor who obtained her degrees in Missouri and Texas, emphasizing therapeutic recreation and Biblical counseling as part of her studies. She has experience working with autistic and other special needs children and adults, sexual abuse victims, and families. She has worked in residential and outpatient settings facilitating group therapy, family therapy and individual therapy. She enjoys using play therapy, attachment therapy, Mindfulness, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. At Wyoming Behavioral Institute, Melanie works with children in the Foundations for Success and Pathfinders residential programs.

Jennifer Frausto, APRN, FPMHNP-BC Jennifer Frausto, APRN, FPMHNP-BC
Jennifer Frausto is board certified as a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She is the Medical Director for WBI's Foundations for Success, an outpatient program serving kindergarten, first and second graders. Jennifer is from Cheyenne and completed her undergraduate studies in nursing at the University of Wyoming. She received her master's degree from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus with an emphasis in psychiatric nursing. She has experience working with children, adolescents, adults and seniors in outpatient and intensive inpatient psychiatric settings. Jennifer's past experience also includes working as a medical-surgical hospital registered nurse. She is completing her doctoral studies in nursing practice at the University of Colorado.

Wyoming Behavioral Institute's treatment components include:

  • Comprehensive evaluation and assessment
  • History and physical
  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • Psychiatric social evaluation
  • Nurse assessment
  • Full-spectrum care that focuses on the whole person, not just the illness
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Medication Management
  • Case Management
  • Discharge planning

Education Program
Wyoming Behavioral Institute has a school on site for elementary, junior high, and high school students. Certified, experienced teachers and aides staff our school. We provide an educational component because we recognize that school is an important part of your child's life, however, the primary focus at WBI is in treating the emotional and or behavioral issues that resulted in hospitalization. Once these issues begin to stabilize, children often can begin to make progress in school. With your permission, our Education Coordinator will work with your child's school to coordinate their education needs.