Raising a teenager with depression can be emotional and exhausting for you as a parent. While you may feel you would be willing to do anything in the world to help your child improve, it is discouraging when you see very little to show for your efforts. In such cases, outside intervention can offer something for troubled teens that their home environment can’t. If your child has failed to respond to any outpatient efforts, it may be time to consider a full time option such as a residential treatment center.
Teen help programs such as therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers are designed to deliver full time therapy and care for teens battling severe issues like depression, substance abuse, anxiety, defiance and anger. These facilities provide a therapeutically immersive environment where your teen’s primary job is to identify and address the underlying issues that are leading to his challenges. While most facilities offer programs for a variety of mental and behavioral issues, you should select one that has a strong history in helping depressed teens. There are some standards that you should watch for when researching options:
- Safety should be your primary concern. Each state has different rules and regulations governing their teen assistance programs and you should familiarize yourself with the ones in the states you are considering. Along with checking up on potential facilities for their experience and safety measures, you should also ask if they require background checks for any staff in contact with the residents.
- A therapy program targeting depression should offer ample amounts of one-on-one coaching between residents and the counselors and therapists. Depression often causes teens to isolate themselves and push others away. Trained staff can draw teens out in a healthy way and involve them in therapy and other activities that will help them identify their strengths and effectively cope with their weaknesses. Group events will help them develop a sense of teamwork and each teen can practice effective communication with his peers and authority figures.
- Not all troubled teens take anti-depressants or anxiety medication, but many do. Make sure that the facilities you are considering have qualified medical staff to properly manage and adjust any meds your son may be taking.
- Your input as a parent is extremely important. While some programs require parents to keep their distance initially so their teen can adjust to his new surroundings, you should be comfortable with the level in which they work with and listen to your concerns. You know your child best and his treatment is a partnership between you and professionals you have entrusted him with.
Liahona Academy, located in southern Utah, is a residential treatment facility specializing in helping troubled teen boys overcome depression and gain the tools they need to become healthy and happy individuals. The qualified and caring staff at Liahona Academy has successfully helped thousands of boys through a supportive and therapeutic environment. For a free consultation, contact us today at 1-800-675-8101.