How To Know When Residential Treatment Is Appropriate for Your Teen or Young Adult

Parents and families often struggle with the question of when and if they should consider residential treatment as an option, and how to know if it’s the right fit for their loved one’s needs. While residential treatment is not appropriate for every case, the intensive, daily, individualized care provided in a residential setting is often the solution. Here’s how to know if that path may be right for your family.

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Five signs that residential treatment may be appropriate for your teen or adolescent’s mental health issues.

1. When Basic Treatment Has Been Ineffective

Understandably, many families opt for the least intensive treatment options when a mental health diagnosis is first made. Certain therapeutic approaches, lifestyle modifications, or medications may have proven ineffective in reducing symptoms or problem behaviors. Medications may have had unacceptable side effects. Many people need to go through multiple medications, therapists, and treatment approaches to find what works for them. However, mental health struggles can persist even in the face of multiple courses of action to treat them.

If your teen or young adult has not found success with multiple forms of mental health or substance abuse treatment, a residential setting is worth considering. By their very nature, outpatient treatment approaches cannot offer the same supervised, controlled environment and intensive level and range of treatment options available with residential care.

2. When Safety Becomes an Issue

Mental health issues can become safety hazards when risky or self-injurious behaviors occur. Seeking residential treatment is certainly appropriate for teens or young adults who may present threats to themselves or to others. That said, if you are presently in an emergency situation and fear for your life or your child’s life, please call 9-11 now. It may also be appropriate if your loved one is displaying worsening substance abuse, self-harm, or other risky or dangerous behaviors. Residential treatment facilities offer stabilization in drug and alcohol-free environments, 24/7 client supervision, and medical and clinical professionals on-site to provide care, when necessary. The treatment interventions offered in residential care can help your loved one find healthy coping mechanisms to replace dangerous behaviors they may be falling into.

3. When Daily Life or Development is Adversely Impacted

Many teens and young adults with mental health conditions like depression or anxiety can still get out of bed, attend school, or perform normally at work. Make no mistake – these conditions can be invisible diseases which impact a person silently, and professional treatment is often necessary even for “high-functioning” or mild instances of such conditions. Mild presentations of mental health issues can often be managed with outpatient interventions, like therapy, medication, and lifestyle management. These options can be explored while one lives at home and continues daily life as usual. This is not always the case with more severe mental health issues.

Depression, anxiety, and similar conditions can jeopardize performance at school or work. They can have profound impacts on a person’s ability to care for themselves, socialize, or function in daily life. At these extremes, serious intervention is absolutely necessary. A good residential treatment program can offer a safe, supportive environment, with highly trained staff who specialize in addressing such serious presentations of mental illness.

4. When Being at Home Isn’t Conducive to Healing

Unfortunately, home is not always the best environment for recovery from mental health conditions. One’s home may be associated with stressors, like difficult memories or familial conflict. It can also function as a familiar and comfortable place in which to shut oneself off from the world. When a teen or loved one lives at home, they can also likely leave that home and return to environments which are not conducive to recovery. This can include visiting friends who may not encourage healthy behaviors in your teen or young adult, including offering access to drugs and alcohol. Residential settings like those at Paradigm minimize stress, which is one of the largest drivers of both mental health and substance abuse issues. They offer supervised environments which push clients towards positive action and eliminate the potential for falling back on substance abuse or other dangerous habits.

5. When Multiple Co-Occurring Conditions Require a Different Approach

Ideally, every therapist would be trained to recognize and treat the different ways that various mental health conditions and substance abuse issues interact with one another. This is not always the case. Teens and adolescents also have many unique needs which may not be recognized or met by many care providers. Residential treatment for adolescents and young adults is specifically targeted to address such needs. Counselors and therapists at such facilities are deeply familiar with the common presentations of mental health disorders and substance abuse in this age range, as well as the most frequent areas in which they struggle. They also know how to connect with this demographic, and which treatment approaches tend to be the most successful.

Mental Health Treatment at Paradigm

Paradigm Treatment offers intensive, evidence-based residential treatment for teens and young adults with mental illness. Our staff is highly experienced in treating common adolescent mental health disorders, including instances where multiple conditions occur together or where substance abuse is involved. We offer a host of proven interventions targeted to the individual needs of each client. Our small number of clients, industry-leading staff-to-client ratio, and guarantee of daily individual therapy, alongside weekly family sessions, makes us uniquely equipped to help your teen or adolescent overcome their mental health struggles and find success in all areas of their lives.

If you would like to discuss treatment with Paradigm, or have any other questions about our treatment program, please call today at 603-386-1282.

Parents and families often struggle with the question of when they should consider residential treatment as an option, and how to know if it’s the right fit for their loved one’s needs.

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