Ironwood Maine FAQs

How do I know if my teen is a good fit for the Ironwood program?

Prior to admission into Ironwood’s mental health treatment program, the Clinical Director, in concert with other members of the treatment team, review each application to determine if Ironwood has the capacity to meet your youth’s needs. A complete review of available psychological, medical, and educational assessments in conjunction with interviews with the family, determines what degree your teen may safely participate in and benefit from the programs at Ironwood. Special attention is given to the physical requirements for participating in the adventure component of the program. Our staff reviews information you provide and continues to be in contact with you regarding your teen’s physical care. As soon as possible after admission, assessments are conducted by your teen’s primary therapist, nurse, and psychiatrist. These assessments are documented in the Treatment Plan, Wellness Plan, and Psychiatric Evaluation. Parents will have electronic access to these documents on a secure parent portal. Read our Resident Profile Matrix here.

Will our health insurance reimburse for services provided at Ironwood?

Ironwood does not bill insurance companies directly and parents are responsible for submitting invoices to them directly. Ironwood can provide invoices for therapeutic services with appropriate codes for insurance reimbursement. However, it is important that you contact your insurance company to make sure you will be reimbursed for out of network benefits, ahead of enrollment, if this is important to you. We encourage families to use insurance billing resources such as Denials Management Inc. or SJ Health Insurance Advocates to fully investigate potential insurance options. As a result of these services, many families have had success in submitting and receiving reimbursement for residential care.

Will my teen be required to perform chores?

Yes, daily chores are part of meaningful community work are key elements in Ironwood’s program. This is a rigorous teen program with character and team-building responsibilities that instill a sense of responsibility and achievement.

What is Ironwood’s policy on administering prescribed medications?

For teens requiring pharmacological treatment for psychiatric and mental health issues, Ironwood Maine offers the services of a consulting psychiatric provider. The psychiatric provider works collaboratively with Ironwood therapists and staff in the conservative use of medication to alleviate symptoms that may otherwise hinder the child’s progress. Ironwood provides a monthly medication evaluation and follows each child individually from week to week to ensure that benefits are obtained with a minimum of side effects. The psychiatric provider is available on-call to address questions and concerns. It is Ironwood’s policy to use psychotropic medication only when less restrictive alternatives have been tried and failed or are diagnostically eliminated. All decisions regarding medication are made cautiously and with parental collaboration and consent. In many cases, we are able to discontinue or reduce medication as the teen stabilizes and gains new insights and coping skills.

Will my youth be allowed to communicate with our family?

Yes, communication with your child is an essential part of the therapeutic process. During the initial assessment phase at Frye, this process will be evaluated by the resident’s therapist and reviewed with the parents. 

Ironwood encourages frequent letter writing to families. All letters are private, and Ironwood will not read outgoing or incoming mail. Residents are encouraged to write at least two letters to parents per week. This process establishes a pattern of thoughtful communication with parents that can be converted into action when they are ready to leave the program. 

Weekly family therapy sessions serve as an opportunity for parents to speak with their child with a therapist’s facilitation. Furthermore, as therapeutically indicated, Ironwood will arrange for the resident to make private phone calls with family members. Our goal is to reunite families and help them reconnect in healthy ways. 

How does my teen continue with schoolwork while at Ironwood?

Ironwood Maine is a secondary private school licensed by the state of Maine and accredited by the NEASC. Certified teachers teach and tutor residents daily in our two school buildings year around. All traditional high school subjects such as English, math (through calculus), history, government, chemistry, biology, physics, earth and environmental sciences, art, and languages are available, as are experiential and elective offerings. For high school graduates or advanced students we provide a variety of undergraduate courses through several universities, and for residents not ready for secondary school work, we the match course level to the student. For high school juniors and seniors, we are often able to plan a program whereby the residents leaves Ironwood with an accredited high school diploma. Our educational staff, if parents wish, will work with past and future schools so that transition to and from Ironwood are as easy, smooth, and problem free as possible. We can help students with college applications, and offer SAT testing on site.

How will I get my child to Ironwood?

Some families choose to transport their child to Ironwood Maine. However, we can also recommend reputable escorted transportation services. The clinical director can help you with this decision during the enrollment process. It should be noted that Ironwood believes that transports should occur only after other interventions have been exhausted. However, we support this intervention in cases where it is therapeutically supported and deemed a last resort. Ironwood supports transports exclusively from agencies who are committed to AMATS (Association of Mediation and Transport Services) Code of Ethics and Standard of Professional Excellence.