Our Adolescent Mental Health Program Continuum

Here at Ironwood Maine, we offer mental health programs for teens. Our full continuum of care involves 2 distinct programs: Frye and Farmhouse.

The Frye campus is a highly structured, rules-oriented environment, intended to establish acceptance and reinforce respect for one’s self and others. The Farmhouse focuses on developing the internal character traits of honesty, integrity, and motivational values.

Both campuses use routines that encourage residents to become more self-directed, responsible, and emotionally mature, ultimately working toward the successful application of Ironwood Maine’s mission.

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Frye Campus

“Getting Back to Basics” (Levels 1 & 2)

Every Ironwood resident begins their journey at Frye, which is designed to provide a safe, supportive, and natural setting that assists residents in diffusing anger. This mental health treatment program proactively helps residents engage in the program. Residents are encouraged to remove excuses for their past behavior and accept responsibility for their future.

The rural and rustic setting of the Frye wilderness component of the program brings residents face-to-face with what farm living was like 100 years ago. Many of the creature comforts we take for granted do not exist at Frye. Residents learn the importance of feeding and caring for animals before they take care of themselves and allowing life to slow down long enough to get comfortable with silence and reflection.

Someone once said, “You never truly appreciate things until they are gone.”

Often young people benefit from having less of the things they are used to having. This creates a fresh appreciation for the things they do have. The rustic log cabins, lodge, school yurt, and cafeteria yurt nestled within the surrounding 400 wooded acres make up their new environment.

Residents progress through the first two levels of our program during their stay at Frye. Here is where they learn important leadership skills, as well as participation in team-building activities and various community projects.

The care of the animals is a priority for the youth at our center. It helps them to develop care and compassion for something besides themselves. Work ethic and the rewards of a job well done are often new experiences for teens at Ironwood. This assists teens at our facility in reaching their true potential.

A Day in the Life at Frye

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The day begins early at Frye. A typical day starts at 7:00 am and begins with a brisk 30-minute exercise followed by personal hygiene, chores, and breakfast. Each resident has school each weekday, followed by therapy groups, community projects, hiking, life skills, and team-building activities.

The teens in Frye cook their own dinners with staff support. In the evening there is a dedicated quiet hour built-in for them to write in their journals and write letters home which is followed by bedtime at 9:00 pm.

The Importance of the Frye Program

With a 90-day average length of stay, Frye is a critical first step as it lays the foundation for the rest of the mental health program. Therapists help each resident recognize and take responsibility for the behavior that brought them to Ironwood.

Additionally, each resident experiences a range of “aha” moments that give them insight into their past and present choices and to learn new skills to produce healthy and appropriate behavior.

Residents develop greater self-esteem and self-confidence as they succeed in achieving more than they thought possible. Such success does not happen by chance but through the nurturing efforts of trained staff who not only directly support each resident, but also chart resident behaviors and activities on a daily basis.

These notes are used to produce progress reports for the multidisciplinary team and are used to measure consistency from one day to the next and to ensure that key behaviors and treatment plan goals are met.

The Frye academic program is a truly empowering and educational experience for adolescents. Residents at Frye become more self-aware and confident. Upon accomplishing the goals set at Frye, the residents are ready for promotion to the Farmhouse.

Frye Program, Level 1:

  • Program Concepts:
    • Gains an understanding of Ironwood Maine’s program, level system, and expectations
  • Participation and Work Ethic:
    • Stays actively involved and make an effort in the program, school, and therapy

Frye Program, Level 2:

  • Consistency:
    • Demonstrates psychological and emotional growth through consistent behavior
  • Investment and Engagement:
    • Begins to emotionally and socially invest and focus on the present and future
    • Identifies and develops physical, emotional, social, therapeutic, and educational goals

Farmhouse Campus – “Becoming Internally Led” (Levels 3 & 4)

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At the Farmhouse, residents build upon the foundational lessons they have learned at Frye regarding work ethic, personal responsibility, caring for others, and becoming internally directed. From a therapeutic standpoint, the teens in our program work on a more cognitive approach and look at their behaviors through recognition and response.

Our residents also participate in various therapeutic activities utilizing animals for equine-assisted psychotherapy, riding lessons, and daily care of the animals. To round out their learning and experience, resident teens participate in book groups utilizing a variety of books such as What Happy People Know, The Book of Virtues, and The Road Less Traveled.

Team building and learning about healthy relationships are emphasized in the program. We believe youth engagement is of utmost importance when it comes to mental health treatment for young people. So, our resident teens are also given the opportunity to participate in off-campus adventure therapy activities such as white-water rafting, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, and hiking.

Teens graduate from the program as they demonstrate integrity and accountability. This typically occurs after approximately 6 months. While at the Farmhouse, residents learn respect is to be given, integrity is a necessity, and civility is a must. When residents transition to their homes, these values translate into respectful and meaningful relationships and a greater ability to manage their own moods, attitudes, and behaviors.

Farmhouse Program, Level 3 & 4:

  • Personal Responsibility:
    • Develops a comprehensive understanding of the impact one has on those around him/her/them
    • Takes ownership of individual expectations and responsibilities
    • Demonstrates a commitment to personal honesty
  • Self-awareness/Mindfulness:
    • Cultivates an attitude of learning, including lessons about living and feedback for personal growth
    • Begins to be conscious of the reasons for every action
    • Begins to be thoughtful in all areas of life
  • Social Relations:
    • Develops skills and demonstrate appropriate interactions and relationships with peers and staff

Let Ironwood Maine Help Your Teen Today

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Here at Ironwood Maine, we understand the challenges you may be facing in regard to your teen who is struggling with mental health issues. The need for behavioral health services may be evident. Please know that our treatment team is here to provide firm but compassionate care to your child. We understand that behavioral health care is necessary in order to promote mental health and help families heal.

Contact us today to learn how our residential treatment program can help your teen overcome his or her mental health challenges. There is hope for troubled youths and their loved ones. We are here to help bring healing and support to your child.

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