Residential Mental Health Treatment Program for Adolescents Ages 14 to 17
Adolescent clients who admit to the residential treatment program typically stay at the residential level of care for about 8 to 12 weeks before stepping down to day treatment.
We offer longer lengths of stay, giving our clients the time and space they need to recover, build resilience, and adopt skills need to succeed in school and in life. Total treatment costs depend on the level of care required and the number of days needed to complete treatment.
Pre-admission testing is required. Please see our Covid-19 information page for details.
All residential clients and staff wear masks and practice physical distancing.
Off-campus passes and campus visitors (including parents and guardians) are not permitted at this time.
The J. Rex Fuqua Campus is a welcoming environment designed to foster engagement in treatment and a sense of community. Residential clients receive private bedrooms and bathrooms. Shared therapeutic and recreational spaces feature natural light, open floor plans, and dedicated spaces for academic learning and social interactions.
Want to see inside?
Check out this 360 Virtual Tour
Specialized Psychiatric Care
Our adolescent residential treatment program provides individualized, evidence-based treatment by diagnosis. Together with our integrated wellness model and holistic approach, this powerful combination provides a unique path to a healthy future for each individual client.
Each client is assigned to one of two diagnosis-specific core groups: CBT Skills or DBT Skills. Clients meet with their core group each day, Monday through Friday.
CBT Skills core group helps clients who struggle with perfectionism, low self esteem, fear of failure, or social anxiety learn how to manage stress, balance their own needs with the expectations of others, and confront and reframe recurring negative thought patterns.
DBT Skills core group helps clients who struggle with emotion regulation, anger outbursts, fear of abandonment, or self-harming behaviors learn how to tolerate uncomfortable situations, ask for help or support in healthy ways, and acknowledge emotions without allowing them to drive behaviors.
All clients also participate in groups throughout the week based on the Ecological Systems Theory therapeutic approach. This evidence-based approach helps clients examine their own unique identity and values as well as how they are impacted by and can influence the people, systems, and environment around them. Clients are given tools and support to explore questions about their gender, sexual, and cultural identity; peer and family relationships; attitudes and behaviors related to alcohol and substance use; and their concerns about their role in larger issues such as climate change or social justice.
Structured Daily Schedules
Adolescents participate in a structured daily schedule that includes yoga & meditation, academic instruction and support, fitness and wellness activities, and individual and group therapy sessions. Groups include evidence-based therapeutic groups, peer support groups, family therapy, and experiential therapy.
Adolescent clients meet with their dedicated therapist one-on-one at least twice each week. Clients meet individually with their psychiatrist at least once each week.
What does a treatment day look like?
View an example residential treatment schedule.
Reset to Healthy Living
On evenings and weekends, our residential staff help clients work on re-establishing healthy sleep and meal schedules, self care and hygiene, medication adherence if applicable, and healthy social and recreational activities. Our skilled and caring residential staff ensure that our clients are supported, engaged in the Skyland Trail community, and working toward healthy living habits.
Integrated, Holistic Approach
Experiential therapies offered throughout each week include art, music, creative movement, yoga, meditation, and horticultural therapy. Experiential therapies give adolescents a break from talk therapy, encourage social engagement with peers, and help teens explore activities that they can use to express emotions and maintain mental health long-term.
Experiential therapies also employ Behavioral Activation, an evidence-based therapeutic approach. Many teens with depression or anxiety have developed avoidance as an unhealthy coping strategy. Behavioral activation helps break the cycle of avoidance and reinforces the connection between doing things and feeling good.
Family programming and involvement is an important part of the adolescent residential mental health treatment program.
Families are required to participate in family therapy sessions at least once each week. While each client meets individually with their primary therapist at least twice each week, sessions with the family therapist focus on the family system and require introspection and adjustments from all family members, not just the adolescent.
All family activities are conducted remotely via zoom at this time.
Adolescent clients enrolled in residential treatment receive an educational needs assessment at admission and academic education services year-round. Daily schedules include at least 4 hours of structured academic support each weekday.
Residential adolescent clients are required to be enrolled in an accredited school or online learning program. Skyland Trail is committed to working closely with a client’s current school of enrollment when possible; however, we ask that schools agree to a few partnership requirements.
If the client does not want to remain enrolled at their current school, or if the current school is unable to meet the partnership requirements, the client will be enrolled in ADVANTAGES Digital Learning Solutions.
Learn more about academic services.
Next Steps After Residential Treatment
Depending on the client's progress in residential treatment, the treatment team will help the teen transition to the virtual intensive outpatient program, which includes groups three days per week via zoom. The treatment team will develop an individualized treatment plan to help the client and family continue to practice skills and grow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Medication may be recommended after a complete psychiatric assessment as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Some patients will not require medications due to their diagnosis and work in other areas of treatment; however, some patients with certain diagnoses or needs that require psychiatric medication adherence will need to be open to taking their medications in order to stay in our program. If medication is recommended, the psychiatrist will discuss risks/benefits of medications and alternative treatments as part of the informed consent process.
Yes. Clients and staff wear face masks at all times outside of client private rooms or private staff offices.
Skyland Trail’s goal is to foster a space of safety and support that encourages exploration and growth for the adolescent and their family, while promoting psychological and emotional resiliency. Several aspects of the Adolescent Treatment Program make Skyland Trail an effective, inclusive and welcoming environment for trans teens; gender non-binary or gender fluid teens; lesbian, gay or bisexual teens; and other LGBTQ+ adolescents and their families. The Adolescent Program staff utilizes LGBTQ+ affirming therapeutic practices to support the teen through all phases of developmentally appropriate exploration and/or questioning of gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation. Each teen in the residential program has their own private room and bathroom. There are also gender neutral bathrooms on each floor of the residential and clinical buildings. Our focus is to provide the adolescent and family with therapeutic treatment that supports healthy development, builds a secure self-identity and fosters resiliency to enhance their quality of life and strengthen the family bond.
This depends on the school in which the teen is enrolled. In order for the client to remain enrolled in their current school, the school must complete a Partner School Agreement and adhere to a set of requirements.
Please note that, because adolescent clients are engaged in a structured daily schedule of therapeutic activities, they are not able to participate in synchronous (real-time) remote or virtual learning programs. Students may participate in virtual or remote learning programs if they are able to complete requirements and assignments during the academic support hours designated by Skyland Trail.
Clients not enrolled in an accredited school will be enrolled in ADVANTAGES Digital Learning Solutions online school.
No. Adolescent clients will need to take break from sports, music or other extracurricular activities while in treatment. As part of their treatment, teen clients participate in recreational sports, fitness and outdoor activities on campus during their stay with us. They also engage in a myriad of experiential therapies of their choice including art, music, creative movement, psychodrama, yoga, meditation, horticulture.
We currently are not permitting any visitors to campus due to COVID-19.
The Skyland Trail adolescent residential treatment program is device free. Clients may not have mobile phones, smart phones, tablets, laptops or other devices anywhere on campus.
Clients may not receive phone calls, emails, texts, or social DMs from friends or peers while in treatment.
Clients may call or facetime/skype with guardians and approved family members once each weekend for a maximum of 45 minutes. Clients also interact with guardians during family therapy at least once each week. Family therapy sessions currently are conducted through zoom.
Friends and family may mail letters or care packages to clients. Letters and packages will be opened in front of Skyland Trail staff and may not contain any prohibited items.
Smoking and vaping are illegal for individuals under the age of 18 in Georgia. All Skyland Trail campuses are 100% nicotine free. No smoking, vaping, or tobacco use is permitted anywhere on our campuses. Adolescents with a history of nicotine use may consult with their psychiatrists on appropriate nicotine cessation strategies.
Once you have an admission appointment scheduled, learn more about what to pack and what to leave at home. Please also review the dress code:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, residential clients may not leave campus to return home or to spend time with family or friends.
Skyland Trail will accompany the adolescent to medical appointments in the community as needed. For clients who have received one dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine before admission, we will facilitate an appointment in the community for the client to receive their second dose of vaccine. Depending on circumstances, the client may need to isolate when they return to campus until they can be tested and medically cleared to return to the milieu.
Yes. To protect the health of our clients and staff, all adolescents must provide a current record of immunizations prior to admission. The record should show dates for all vaccines on the CDC's Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule for ages 18 years or younger and be signed by a licensed physician or public health official.
Unless medically contraindicated, adolescent clients in services between September 1 and February 28 must also have the CDC-approved annual seasonal influenza vaccine.
Vaccinations for Covid-19 for clients ages 16 and older are encouraged. Currently Skyland Trail administers the Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine which is approved for ages 18 and older. Therefore Skyland Trail is not able to provide vaccinations for adolescent clients at this time.