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Adolescent Care

The BridgeWay offers a dedicated 24-bed program for the inpatient treatment of adolescents 13-17 with behavioral issues. The National Institute for Mental Health reports that mental health is an essential part of overall health for children and adults. For many adults with mental disorders, symptoms were present—but often not recognized or addressed—in childhood and adolescence. For a young person with symptoms of mental disease, the earlier treatment starts, the more effective it can be. Early treatment can help prevent more severe, lasting problems as an adolescent grows up.

It can be hard to tell if an adolescent’s troubling behavior is just part of growing up or a problem that should be discussed with a mental health professional. Behavioral signs and symptoms that last weeks or months that interfere with the adolescent’s daily life at home and at school, or with friends, may warrant a mental health evaluation.

Warning Signs Among Adolescents, ages 12-17.

Adolescents may benefit from an evaluation if they:

  • Have lost interest in things that they used to enjoy
  • Have low energy
  • Sleep too much or too little or seem sleepy throughout the day
  • Are spending more and more time alone, and avoid social activities with friends or family
  • Fear gaining weight, or diet or exercise excessively
  • Engage in self-harm behaviors (e.g., cutting or burning their skin)
  • Smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs
  • Engage in risky or destructive behavior alone or with friends
  • Have thoughts of suicide
  • Have periods of highly elevated energy and activity and require much less sleep than usual
  • Say that they think someone is trying to control their minds or hear things that other people cannot understand. 

Treatment: Our physician-led program addresses the patient’s entire wellbeing, including medical, psychiatric, and social needs. We begin by developing an individualized treatment plan which focuses on the identified behavioral challenges of each patient. As such, the program may include a wide variety of evidence-based therapies. Treatment may consist of medication management overseen by the psychiatrist who meets with each patient daily. Therapists meet with each patient daily. The average length of stay is seven days.

Treatment is directed by a psychiatrist-led multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals consisting of:

  • Board-certified psychiatrist
  • Nurses
  • Case coordinators
  • Licensed social workers
  • Mental health technicians
  • Licensed recreational therapists
  • Substance use counselors

Patients participate in different elements of the program based on their individual needs, including:

  • Group therapy
  • Education at an on-site school
  • Recreational therapy
  • Medication management
  • Dietary counseling

Group Therapy: Led by licensed therapists, there are three structured groups per day consisting of mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

  • Social service group: These groups involve talk therapy light physical activities and focus on the aspects of empathy.
  • Mental health group: Through the application of music or video to explore ways to manage behavior, therapists use mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to guide patients to redirect negative ways of thinking.

Recreational Therapy: Licensed recreational therapists deliver daily programs consisting of group and individual activities designed to develop coping skills necessary to recovery. This form of therapy includes physical exercises and art therapy, including painting, music, and journaling.

Educational Services: In conjunction with each adolescent’s treatment plans, we incorporate education through an on-site school accredited by the Pulaski County Special School District. Our teachers are certified in special education and are experienced in working with students who have emotional problems. We work closely with the home school during the treatment program to transfer credits from our school to minimize the loss of credits or class time.

Family Support: We recognize the importance of family involvement and support in the treatment process, emphasizing family participation through therapy. In addition to structured visitation and phone contact, the program allows patients and their families to work through a crisis, quickly stabilize and return to the appropriate level of care after discharge.

Discharge Planning: The individual’s case coordinator begins discharge planning upon admission by developing goals and plans for a transition to a less intensive level of treatment to include:

  • Partial hospitalization
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Traditional outpatient services

We’re Just a Phone Call Away

We cannot offer a diagnosis, counseling or recommendations online. We offer confidential assessments at no-cost on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Mobile assessment services are available by appointment Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, please call 800-245-0011. If you need immediate medical assistance, contact 911 or seek the nearest emergency room.