8 Minutes

Edited & medically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
Fact checked

Inpatient treatment is provided by mental health specialists and health professionals in a teen mental hospital or inpatient treatment program 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your kid is looked after in a safe environment. Children (from preschool to roughly the age of 12) and teenagers are usually separated in hospitals (12 to 18). Adults who are mentally ill are often kept separate from both sections.

If your kid or teen is a risk to himself or others, or if alternative types of care are not accessible or would not actually work for your teen, he may need inpatient treatment.

If the guardian or parent agrees, inpatient psychiatric therapy may be voluntary. If a mental health specialist certifies that your teen or child needs treatment, the court may order it.

Let’s look at three different terms: mild, moderate, and severe.


If your kid or teenager has a mild mental health condition, they will have symptoms that are typical of the disorder, but they will not be disruptive. Outpatient treatment is usually appropriate when a problem is minor. Your teen’s symptoms are likely to be unpleasant, difficult, and disruptive. A minor disorder, on the other hand, has symptoms that do not interfere with their ability to carry out everyday activities, engage in family life, attend school, and live at home.


Your child or teen’s symptoms will range from mild to severe if they have a moderate mental health issue. For most moderate mental health disorders, some type of outpatient therapy is recommended.

An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) may be effective if their disorder’s symptoms are disturbing and disruptive but do not interfere with their ability to attend class or engage in family life. A Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) may be helpful when the signs of a moderate disorder are bothersome, disruptive, and hinder your child or teen’s ability to go to school, but not their ability to live at home. Children or teens in an IOP program receive medical treatment three to five days a week for about 3 hours each day. Children or teens in a PHP program undergo treatment 5 days a week for about 5-6 hours each day. Children and teenagers in both the IOP and PHP programs live at home whilst receiving therapy.


If your kid or adolescent has a serious substance use or mental illness, their symptoms are likely to be so disruptive that they are unable to function in everyday life, school, family life, or any extracurricular activities. A child or teen with a serious mental health issue may engage in activities that are dangerous to themselves, their peers, or their household in some situations. Suicidal thoughts, non-suicidal self-harm, and attempted suicides can all be symptoms of severe substance use or mental health disorders. Aggression, rage, hostility, and dangerous or aggressive behavior are all symptoms of severe behavioral disorders. A child or teen with a severe mental health issue will almost always require inpatient care.

Your child’s treatment options will be discussed with your healthcare practitioner or mental health expert at inpatient mental health facilities for youth, who will also describe the program and potential hazards. You should know what treatment your child or teen will receive and how long it will take them to recover.

Begin by looking into a few private mental hospitals for youth near your relatives and family. Make a phone call to each program you’re considering. Inquire about admissions standards and waiting lists. After that, go to each institution. Pose questions like:

  • What is included in the program?
  • Is this a therapy program for children and teenagers only?
  • What are the expertise and credentials of members of the treatment team?
  • How will my adolescent manage his or her schoolwork?
  • What is the expected length of my child’s stay in the hospital? When the treatment is finished, how will you decide?
  • Is my adolescent suffering from any other psychological health or substance addiction issues? If that’s the case, will they be treated as well?
  • How often will my adolescent see a private therapist?
  • What will the cost of treatment be? Are the expenses covered by my health insurance or plan?
  • What if I can’t afford the care that my teen requires?
  • What can my family do to help my teen’s treatment go smoothly?
  • What sorts of continuous therapy will be required, how often will it be required, and for how long will it be required?

Various types of therapy may be used during inpatient treatment.

  • Family counseling is frequently beneficial. Rather than engaging with just one person, family therapy serves the entire family. It assists the entire family in making changes.
  • Your child may benefit from group therapy to help him or her deal with jobs, relationships, and medication. It is conducted in a group of six to ten persons with the help of a therapist.
  • Positive feedback (“you are strong enough”), encouragement (“you can get through it”), and comfort (“you can manage it”) are all part of supportive treatment.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a technique for assisting your child in identifying and altering his attitudes toward himself, the environment, and the future. CBT can help your child recognize problematic thinking patterns. It may also assist him in developing new ways of thinking and acting.
  • Teens who are anxious or depressed may be administered medications to help them. Some treatments reduce your teen’s desire for alcohol or drugs, while others make him unwell when he drinks or uses drugs. This may lower the likelihood of your teen abusing alcohol or drugs in the future.

The length of time your kid will be in therapy is determined by the severity of their behaviors and symptoms, as well as how they receive treatment. Your child may only need to remain in the hospital for a few days or may need to stay for a longer period of time.

Encourage your teenager. Allow your child to talk about anything they desire. Listen attentively. This helps them recognize that their feelings and views are important, that you care for them, and that you will never stop caring about them. Don’t walk away if your teen wants to shut you out. Make it clear to youngsters that you are available to them whenever they require assistance. Remind your children of this frequently. Because they believe they are undeserving of love and attention, they may have to hear it repeatedly.

Following inpatient treatment, you may want to consider enrolling your kid in a specific program (like day treatment) where he will get both therapy and education. Keep in touch with your teen’s therapists, teachers, and other caregivers to share information about any symptoms your child is experiencing.

Consistency is key. Recognize that you are not to blame for your child’s troubles, even if they were caused by something like a divorce. When it comes to rules and punishments, be tough and consistent. Your adolescent must understand that the rules are in place for them. Teaching youngsters that they may dodge penalties if they are depressed or act out is counterproductive.

Assist your teenager in learning to cope with stress. When children and teenagers are upset, teach them to use deep breathing or other relaxation techniques. Help your teen discover methods to unwind, such as taking up a hobby, listening to music, watching movies, or going for walks.

Maintain your child’s physical well-being. Ensure that your teen consumes a balanced diet, gets adequate sleep, and exercises on a daily basis. Teach kids and teens to stay away from things like caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs.

Examine your child’s medications. Inform all healthcare practitioners who treat your teenager about all medications they are taking to ensure there are no drug interactions with mental health medications. Even if your teen is feeling good, make sure he or she takes his or her medications every day. When he or she stops taking medications because he or she feels better, the difficulties may return.

If you have any questions or if your child’s symptoms seem to be getting worse, contact your healthcare practitioner or therapist.

Inquire if your children or teenagers are suicidal or have done something to harm themselves. If your kid or teen has thoughts of suicide, injuring others, or harming himself, get emergency help.

Changing family patterns is common. It’s possible that you’ll be requested to:

  • Attend family counseling or parenting classes.
  • Learn everything you can. To avoid feeling alone, read, attend support groups, and network with others who are suffering from similar mental health issues.



The Balance RehabClinic is a leading provider of luxury addiction and mental health treatment for affluent individuals and their families, offering a blend of innovative science and holistic methods with unparalleled individualised care.


a successful and proven concept focusing on underlying causes


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Assessments & Detox

1-4 week

Psychological & Holistic Therapy

4 week

Family Therapy

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