255 S. Negley Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
412-365-3800 (phone – school program)
412-749-2889 (phone – psychological services)
Special Education School Program
The Watson Institute Friendship Academy offers an approved private special education school program for students ages 5 to 21 who are faced with severe emotional and behavioral challenges. Students at Friendship Academy receive specialized education services tailored to each students’ abilities and with the purpose of reducing frustration and fostering success. In addition to academic classes, students receive art and music therapy classes and physical education. At Friendship Academy, classes may be staffed by a special education teacher or content area teacher with the assistance of a classroom therapist, social worker, licensed psychiatrists, outpatient clinicians, support aides and classroom assistants. The level of staffing is dependent upon the students’ needs and abilities in the classroom.
Partial Hospitalization Program
Friendship Academy offers a psychiatric hospitalization program which provides intensive treatment during the day to students. Students are taught skills to improve emotional management, problem solving, perception of self and situations through Cognitive Behavior Therapy and a skill-based approach. Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder also receive life skills supports and emotional supports through customized programming based on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). In the Partial Hospitalization Program, students also receive specialized clinical therapies and medication management which are conducted in a trauma-sensitive environment to ensure student comfort and success.
Outpatient Behavioral Health Services
Watson offers behavioral health services onsite at Friendship Academy for students and also as outpatient offerings to children who are not currently enrolled in Watson’s special education school programs. A number of comprehensive outpatient mental and behavioral health services are available for children and adolescents up to the age of 21. Our expert mental and behavioral health staff is comprised of licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists who work to meet the needs of the children and their families using a family-focused approach. The outpatient behavioral health services offered at the Watson Institute Friendship Academy include: psychiatric evaluations, individual therapy, medication management, Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS), and social skills group therapy.