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Residential Services

Residential Services

Residential Services for Adolescents

The BridgeWay offers an eleven-bed sub-acute (long-term) inpatient treatment for teens ages 13-17 with longstanding emotional and behavioral health issues, including mood disorders consisting of major depression or bipolar disorder, and dual diagnosis, a mood combined with substance use disorder. Sub-acute care, also known as residential treatment, can also help those who have unsuccessfully tried therapy in other settings. This level of care may be an option for adolescents who are experiencing emotional issues and require rehabilitation.

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 a child 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 child’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.


Our physician-led sub-acute treatment program addresses the adolescent’s entire wellbeing, including medical, psychiatric, social, and academic needs. We begin by developing an individualized treatment plan which focuses on the identified behavioral challenges of each patient. Each adolescent has input into the development of their treatment plan. The program is supported by a level system that provides social skills to prepare the patient to reintegrate into the family and community. The average length of stay for this program is 75 days.

Individual Therapy: Scheduled weekly with licensed therapists and board-certified psychiatrist, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is applied to individual treatment. Individual therapy may include medication management by the psychiatrist.

Group Therapy: Structured groups are held daily and led by licensed therapists and focus on healing and learning coping strategies through the application of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Family Therapy: Scheduled twice monthly unless otherwise specified.

Recreational Therapy: Licensed recreational therapists deliver daily programs consisting of group and individual activities designed to develop coping skills necessary to function within a community. Outside activities are utilized in a levels-based program to establish emotional stability and encourage growth.

Piers 1 –5: Piers are levels that each patient can reach each day to achieve their personal goals. Patients can reach these piers by participating in group therapy sessions, recreational therapy, and other scheduled activities. If a patient enters a particular pier, they earn a pass to see their families or guardian.

Pier 2: Those who reach this level may earn an 8, 12, or 24-hour pass.

Pier 3: Those who reach this level may earn a 48-hour pass.

Pier 4: Those who reach this level may earn a 72-hour pass.

Pier 5: Those who reach this level may earn a 5-day pass. This level is usually achieved before discharge.

Community Wrap-up Group: Each week, the Community Wrap-up Group is held to that patients discuss life skills and how to handle various situations. They are given scenarios and asked to talk about how they would react. At the end of the groups, they are given feedback and how to further develop their coping skills.

The Big Event: At the beginning of the week, the treatment team and patients will plan The Big Events for the week. The adolescents decide what kinds of activities they want to do one evening per week. There are pizza parties, Wii games, movie nights with snacks, and select outings.

Activities: Therapy is supported by a curriculum that includes:

  • Art
  • Nature
  • Health education
  • Social skills activities
  • Anger management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Journaling
  • Relationship skills
  • Visitation and/or phone contact.

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. 

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.

Treatment Modalities: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is applied to individual treatment, while Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is applied to group therapy. Learning empathy is one of the primary goals of this program. The adolescents are encouraged to look at various life circumstances and situations and reflect and support each other. They benefit from listening to other patients and from talking through their thoughts and feelings. They are encouraged to process information out loud, and they know it is a safe, open space for them to do so without judgment. They learn life skills and how to socialize in today’s world. Many adolescents come to us with a lack of necessary socialization skills, and all are different educational levels. They can express themselves daily without judgment from peers and adults and are encouraged to become more confident in who they are.

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:

  • Residential treatment
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • 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 or through mobile services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 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.