Treatment Programs for Teens Suffering From Depression

Depressed Teens Sometimes Need Residential Treatment to Heal

Teenager in counselling session
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Quick Links: Teen Depression Quiz | Parent's Guide to Teen Depression | Troubled Teens

Teens suffering from depression will sometimes need the level of help and support that can only be provided in a day treatment, residential treatment or hospital program. This is not the first step to take with a depressed teen but is needed in some cases to provide a safe, structured environment where the teen can heal and learn how to effectively manage this disorder.

Knowing When a Depressed Teen Needs a Treatment Program

It may be time to consider a treatment program for a depressed teen when the following circumstances are present:

  • A teen is actively suicidal.
  • A depressed teen is abusing drugs or alcohol.
  • A teen is not responding positively to outpatient therapy or less intensive treatment options.
  • The depressive symptoms a teen experiences significantly impact their ability to function in daily life.

Treatment Programs for Depressed Teens

1. Day treatment programs offer teens a structured, supportive environment during the day which can help a teen who is struggling in school or otherwise having significant problems in trying to cope on a daily basis with their depression.

2. Residential programs to include residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools  are specifically designed to treat mental health disorders and are staffed to provide constant supervision and therapeutic support.

These programs are set up to treat mental health disorders by providing services to include education, support, therapy, medication and discharge planning

Residential programs that may not be well suited for teens with depression, and which in some cases can worsen the symptoms include wilderness therapy and boot camps, as these programs may not provide adequate mental health support for the treatment of depression.


3. Hospital programs- A depressed teen who is suicidal may need to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital in order to ensure their safety. The primary goal in this setting is to decrease suicidal thoughts by providing structure, medication and intensive therapy. Hospital stays are short and most teens' will then need to transition to a residential program for further treatment.

Quick Links: Teen Depression Quiz | Parent's Guide to Teen Depression | Troubled Teens

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