Do Long-Term Mental Health Facilities Help Teens?

long term mental health facilities for youth

The teenage years can be one of the more challenging times in a person’s life. As the brain and body continue to develop it can lead to changes that might seem scary or overwhelming at times. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to put a priority on teenage mental health.

In fact, According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13-18 in the United States experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their lifetime.

While many teens are able to work on their overall mental health and well-being in an outpatient setting, for some this type of environment may not be sufficient enough to meet their needs.

For those that need additional help and support, long-term mental health facilities for youth exist. These residential treatment facilities, such as Ironwood Academy, can provide intensive care and support for those between the ages of 13 and 17 in need.

What Is Teen Residential Treatment?

Long-term mental health, also known as teen residential treatment, is a program that is done exclusively at live-in healthcare and treatment centers. These facilities provide comprehensive and intensive treatment for adolescents who are struggling with mental health challenges.

Residential treatment centers typically offer a structured and supportive living environment where teens can receive round-the-clock care, therapeutic interventions, and academic education.

Residential treatment programs for teens are designed to provide a safe, therapeutic, and healing environment where adolescents can work on their mental health challenges while also continuing their academic education.

How Do I Know If My Teen Needs Residential Treatment?

long term mental health facilities for youth

The teenage years can not only be a challenge for the child, but these years can also be a challenge for the parent. After all, the term “moody teenager” exists for a reason. Teenagers are often apprehensive to talk to their parents about what is going on in their lives. This can make it a challenge to properly determine if their child is struggling with their mental health and is in need of treatment or not, or if they are just going through the standard proverbial “growing pains” of life.

If you are concerned about your teenager’s overall mental health and well-being, below are some things to keep in mind when determining if long-term, residential mental health treatment is best for them:

Are They Exhibiting Severe Mental Health Systems?

If your teen is experiencing severe mental health symptoms that significantly impact their daily functioning, such as persistent and intense depression, anxiety, mood swings, self-harm behaviors, suicidal ideation, or difficulty managing their emotions, a residential treatment program may be the best course of action.

Are They Battling Substance Abuse?

If your teen is struggling mentally while also dealing with a substance abuse issue, a residential treatment program can help provide the level of care that they need to address both their mental health struggles and substance abuse issues at the same time, while also not sacrificing their academic progress.

Have They Already Tried Outpatient Therapy?

Not every form of treatment works best for everyone. If you have tried having your child see a therapist or psychologist and it did not work for them, that’s ok. The important thing is getting them the help that they need. Long-term mental health facilities can provide a higher level of care and supervision for teens who may have tried outpatient therapy and found that it was unsuccessful for them.

Are You Concerned For Their Safety?

If your teen has engaged in risky or dangerous behaviors related to their mental health challenges, such as self-harm or suicidal thoughts or actions, a residential treatment program can offer a safe and supportive environment to manage these concerns and ensure the safety and well-being of your teen.

If you are considering long-term mental health treatment but aren’t sure where to begin, or if it is right for your child, we are here to help. Our skilled team of admissions experts will work closely with you and answer any questions you may have.

Should you feel that long-term treatment is a viable option, An in-depth assessment interview will take place in which detailed, relevant information is gathered to make sure your child is a good fit for our program.

What Are the Benefits of Residential Mental Health Treatment for Teens?

long term mental health facilities for youth

Over the years, residential mental health treatment programs have proven to be effective in helping teens reduce symptoms associated with mental health disorders while also improving overall functioning and quality of life.

In fact, studies have shown that residential treatment programs were particularly effective in treating those with depression as well as behavioral and emotional challenges.

In addition to the mental health and behavioral benefits, long-term mental health facilities can also help teens struggling academically as a result of their mental health or behavioral struggles.

What Should I Look For When Searching For A Long-Term Mental Health Facility?

When searching for a long-term mental health facility for your teenager, it’s crucial to consider several factors to ensure that you find a reputable and appropriate program.

Below are some key things to look for when selecting a residential mental health facility for your teenager:

  • Accreditation and Licensing – Look for a facility that is accredited by reputable organizations such as The Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Accreditation ensures that the facility meets certain quality standards and follows evidence-based practices. It’s also important to check if the facility is properly licensed by state or local agencies to provide mental health treatment for teenagers.
  • Qualified and Trained Staff – The quality and expertise of the staff are crucial to ensure safe and effective care for your teenager. You want to make sure the treatment center employs a team of qualified and trained mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, nurses, and other relevant staff. Since there is also an academic component, you want to make sure that all academic staff is also trained and qualified to teach in a unique environment such as this one.
  • Safety and Security Measures – Safety and security should be a top priority in a long-term mental health facility for teenagers. It’s important to make sure that all safety and security protocols meet your standards and requirements.
  • Family Involvement and Support – Just because you are sending your child to a residential facility doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be involved in his or her life and their progress. You will want to make sure you find a facility that keeps the family actively involved in the child’s treatment with things like family therapy, family education, and support services.
  • Testimonials/Reviews/Word of Mouth – Let’s face it you are more likely to try a product or service if you know for a fact that it works or is successful. The same should go for medical care and treatment. Look for reviews and testimonials from those who have used the facility in the past to get an idea of their experiences with the facility. Most facilities will include a testimonials page on their website with first-hand experiences.
  • Continuity of Care and Aftercare Support – No matter a person’s age or condition, transitioning from a residential care facility to regular, everyday life can be a challenge. It is important that the facility you choose provides continuity of care and aftercare support to help your teenager transition back to their home and community after completing the program. You will want to make sure the facility offers things like a step-down program, discharge planning, ongoing therapy, medication management, and relapse prevention planning.

Find Long-Term Mental Health Facilities For Youth In Maine

At Ironwood Academy we are not just a long-term mental health treatment facility. We are also an accredited boarding school. We offer a unique approach to mental health treatment for teens, combining both evidence-based therapies with academic education in a unique residential setting, with the mid-coast Maine countryside as our backdrop.

Our long-term residential treatment programs are designed to help teens between the ages of 13 and 17 who either tried outpatient mental health treatment already and it didn’t work for them, or who are in need of inpatient care.

We help treat a variety of issues that impact teens and adolescents including:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Depression
  • Stress disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Gender Dysmorphia
  • Behavioral disorders and addictions
  • Substance use and abuse
  • Academic struggles and challenges
  • Family issues

We tailor our treatment program to fit each person’s unique and specific needs. Our program incorporates various types of therapies such as individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and experiential therapy including equine therapy, while also putting an emphasis on the academic education your child needs in their high school years.

As part of our therapeutic approach, we utilize evidence-based practices including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), solution-focused therapy, substance abuse counseling, animal-assisted therapy, and motivational interviewing to help provide a supportive and structured environment where teens can develop coping skills, build resilience, and improve their overall mental health and well-being.

For more information about our programs and to learn how we can help your teen, or to take a tour of our facility, contact us today.

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