ADOLESCENT treatment programs

Skyland Trail in Atlanta is one of the best mental health residential treatment programs for adolescents ages 14 to 17. Skyland Trail has 30 years of proven success with specialized psychiatric treatment. Our approach combines the best evidence-based mental health care with a curriculum focused on coping skills and healthy habits that provides teens with a roadmap to succeed in life long after treatment.

Our adolescent mental health residential treatment center for teens helps young people develop the resilience and life skills needed to navigate the academic challenges of school and changing social and family relationships. Family-focused programming helps parents learn new strategies to support their teens as they prepare to leave home for college or life's next adventure.

Programs for Adolescents

Residential Treatment

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment usually is the best level of care for adolescents leaving a hospital or locked psychiatric acute care facility. Residential treatment may also be appropriate for teens who have found the demands of daily life to be unmanageable without a high level of support including students who are no longer in regular attendance at school, students who have switched to homeschool or virtual school due to the severity of mental health difficulties, or students who have dropped out of school.

Located in Atlanta, our adolescent campus offers around-the-clock staff supervision and support. Teens receive private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Welcoming spaces encourage continued school participation, peer connections, and family engagement.

Day Treatment (PHP)

Day Treatment (PHP)

After participating in residential treatment for 12 weeks, adolescent clients may step down to the day treatment program. Clients return home to their families and continue to come to Skyland Trail for treatment Monday through Friday. Clients who meet clinical criteria may admit directly to day treatment.

  • 12 Week Residential Length of Stay

  • Family Involvement

  • Psychological Testing

  • Academic Support

  • Private Patient Rooms

  • Expressive Therapies

Mental Health Disorders & Symptoms We Treat

Teen clients and their families must be willing to positively participate in the adolescent residential treatment program.

Many adolescents with major depressive disorder experience persistent sadness and/or irritability, lose interest in activities and relationships, and often isolate from family and friends. Our treatment model for teens with depression includes specialized medication therapy when necessary and evidence-based psychotherapy including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), behavioral activation (BA), and and ecological systems theory (EST) to help teens develop broader healthy coping skills and start to feel better.


Adolescents with bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, may exhibit extreme behavior changes or shifts in mood. These changes may also affect a teen's sleep patterns, energy levels and ability to think clearly.  As part of the Skyland Trail treatment program for teen bipolar disorder, young people work with a dedicated psychiatrist to establish an effective medication strategy. Adolescent clients also learn skills to prevent and cope with symptoms. Residential treatment helps teens reset with a healthy sleep routine and structured daily schedule.


Adolescents with an anxiety disorder often experience fear, panic attacks, and physical symptoms like stomachaches and headaches. Teens with anxiety tend to avoid situations or places that induce stress and withdraw from activities they used to enjoy. Adolescent clients work with our dedicated psychiatrist to learn how to use medications appropriately. Teens build resilience through evidence-based skill-building sessions using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), behavioral activation (BA), and ecological systems theory (EST).


The Skyland Trail adolescent program includes an intensively trained dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) team. 

Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is an evidence-based modality appropriate for adolescents with emerging borderline personality disorder traits. 

DBT may be appropriate for adolescents experiencing emotional dysregulation, patterns of impulsive or maladaptive behaviors including self harm, unstable relationships, or instability in their sense of self or identity.

The Skyland Trail intensively trained adolescent DBT treatment team meets weekly to discuss complex client cases and to develop comprehensive strategies to help clients progress. Across the organization, the multidisciplinary treatment team, including residential staff members, receive ongoing training on how to support DBT clients.

The Skyland Trail adolescent residential treatment program adheres to the DBT model created by Dr. Marsha Linehan and Behavioral Tech, with some adaptations for adolescent residential program delivery. As part of the DBT model, residential counselors provide 24/7 in-person DBT skill support, and clients have access to DBT phone coaching 24/7 from clinical on-call staff.


The Skyland Trail residential adolescent mental health treatment program is a trauma-informed program that offers an additional layer of support for some adolescents with a history of trauma. Trained therapists offer individual prolonged exposure therapy (PE) for teens who meet clinical criteria.

Prolonged exposure therapy may be particularly helpful for clients who have trauma-related symptoms that prevent them from fully engaging in foundational CBT or DBT therapeutic work. PE may be most appropriate for patients with a history of trauma experiencing:

    • distressing memories, nightmares, or flashbacks

    • avoidance

    • negative thoughts about self, exaggerated blame of self or others,

    • irritability or angry outbursts

    • self-destructive behaviors

    • overly watchful or suspicious behaviors

    • problems with concentration or sleep

PE involves a series of 8 to 12 individual 90-minute sessions. Sessions with the therapist involve talking about the memory, recording the memory, listening to the recording, journaling, and other techniques.

The goal of each session is to reduce the power of the memory of the traumatic event over time. With less potency, the memory becomes less disruptive, and the patient is better able to tolerate discomfort. The client is then able to engage more fully in treatment to address other psychiatric symptoms and improve coping and interpersonal skills.

Residential treatment is an ideal environment to deliver prolonged exposure therapy. As clients work through the gradual exposures, they receive support from a multidisciplinary team of experts 24/7.

Skyland Trail offers an additional layer of support for adolescent clients with co-occurring mild to moderate substance use. Teens who meet clinical criteria participate in an additional dual diagnosis group twice each week.

Clients in dual diagnosis groups gain a deeper understanding of the impact of their substance use on their mental health. Motivational interviewing is employed as an evidence-based modality.

In dual diagnosis groups, clients learn to replace patterns of substance use or experimentation with healthy coping skills. Through psychoeducation, dual diagnosis groups also empower clients to make healthy choices as they navigate their teenage years and move into adulthood.

Our Campus

The J. Rex Fuqua Campus for adolescents offers a welcoming environment where teens feel respected, protected, and at home.

The Glenn Family Residence Hall includes 26 private patient rooms as well as a common living area, and nurses’ station.

The adjacent Rollins Family Clinical Building includes:

  • individual and group therapy rooms classrooms
  • art and music therapy rooms
  • learning lab
  • fitness studio
  • dining hall
  • game room and recreation spaces

Unique outdoor spaces include an outdoor dining terrace, sports pavilion, courtyard with gardens, walking trails, outdoor classrooms, and outdoor fitness spaces.

How Our Program Works

The Skyland Trail adolescent mental health treatment program address the whole ecosystem surrounding a teen who is struggling with a mood or anxiety disorder. Comprehensive programming engages the family, the school, and other key support systems. This approach ensures that, as the adolescent begins to make progress through evidence-based treatment, the people and systems surrounding the teen adjust to help the young person continue to grow.

Individualized treatment meets the specific needs of each adolescent based on diagnoses, symptoms, history, background, and identified struggles in school or relationships. Treatment begins with a robust diagnostic assessment to clarify the psychiatric diagnoses as well as to identify strengths that can be leveraged as part of the treatment process.

Our length of stay - about 12 weeks - gives adolescents and families time to heal and focus on developing a new path forward. Structured daily schedules and integrated wellness programming helps adolescents understand their diagnoses and learn how to effectively care for themselves while pursuing their goals and dreams.

Our Multidisciplinary Treatment Team

Teen patients in adolescent residential treatment benefit from the expertise and compassionate care from a team of professionals:

  • staff psychiatrist
  • primary therapist
  • family therapist
  • group counselors
  • care coordinator
  • psychologist
  • primary care & wellness physician
  • dietician
  • education specialist
  • nurses
  • residential counselors
  • music specialist
  • recreational therapists
  • art specialist

How We Work with Schools

The Skyland Trail adolescent mental health treatment program offers an educational needs assessment at admission and academic education services year-round. Academic education promotes intellectual development and helps teens maintain progress in school. Certified educators provide daily instruction throughout residential treatment and help adolescent clients develop future goals for continued success after treatment.

Our certified educators work with each adolescent client's school of enrollment to:

  • work on an individual academic plan developed by the school of origin if available
  • ensure client is working toward meeting requirements to maintain academic progress
  • communicate with teachers and parents about the client's academic progress
  • share strategies that helped the client achieve educational goals with the client's teachers and parents so those strategies or accommodations can be employed to promote future success in school

Program Fees

The adolescent treatment program at Skyland Trail is in-network with many plans offered by Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield/Anthem, Carelon Behavioral Health, Cigna, ComPsych, Magellan, Optum/United Behavioral Health/Oscar Health, and Humana Military / TRICARE East.

Families with non-contracted private insurance plans may be able to use out-of-network benefits to receive reimbursement for a portion of program costs. Medicare and Medicaid do not cover our services at any level.

Financial aid is available to families who demonstrate financial need. Please contact us to speak to a financial counselor about program fees and your overall financial responsibility.

Adolescent Program Level of Care
Residential Treatment
12 week program
Day Treatment (PHP) $625/day

Client Stories