Mental Health

At Riverside Mental Health & Recovery Center, we offer expert care for adolescents struggling with a mental illness or substance use disorder. Learn about our admissions criteria and how we determine whether inpatient mental health treatment is right for your child.

Criteria for admission to our Adolescent Acute Treatment Unit

Our expert team at Riverside Mental Health & Recovery Center provides specialized care for adolescents, ages 12 through 17, in a safe, healing environment. We designed this care for young people who need emergency intervention due to a sudden onset of severe symptoms. They need professional help and a high level of supervision right way.

To help us determine whether our Adolescent Acute Mental Health Inpatient Treatment Unit is right for your child, we consider several factors. First, the child needs a clinical diagnosis of a current psychiatric or substance use issue classified as a DSM-5 Axis I disorder. We can explain what that classification means when we talk.

In addition, your child must show at least one of the following criteria:

  • Presents an immediate and definite threat to themselves or others
  • Has a history of behavior dangerous to themselves, others or property. Behaviors may include overt suicidal or homicidal acts and self-destructive acts, such as fire-setting, sexual promiscuity and running away.
  • Displays acute psychosis, hallucinations, delusions or altered thought processes that make treatment in a less restrictive environment unsafe
  • Failure in outpatient treatment
  • Requires special evaluation, treatment and close supervision only available in an inpatient setting, such as a higher staff-to-patient ratio, availability of restraint or seclusion, or professional nursing care
  • Symptoms are worsened by the absence or collapse of support systems, especially the family, to the degree that the child requires immediate care. The family’s level of dysfunction may significantly contribute to the patient’s risk of self-destruction.
  • Legally mandated admission requiring treatment at an acute care level facility for medical reasons
  • Shows evidence of severe mental or emotional behaviors compounded by drug or alcohol use

In addition, your child needs to be able to perform activities of daily living with minimal assistance.

Criteria for admission for substance use treatment for adolescents

Sometimes, adolescents with a substance use disorder need medical treatment to safely clear addictive substances from the body. We may recommend inpatient care if your child’s substance use disorder is severe. Professionals may need to monitor your child and treat symptoms of withdrawal.

We also consider other factors when determining whether inpatient treatment is right for adolescents with substance use disorder. Admission criteria include:

  • A documented history of alcohol or drug use that produces significant physical or mental withdrawal symptoms when the child stops using the substance or cuts back
  • A history of withdrawal symptoms such as one or more of the following:
    o A pattern of use – How often a child uses the substance and how long they have used it predict the potential for significant withdrawal symptoms that require medical and nursing care.
    o Recency of use – The critical period of risk for medically significant withdrawal is the day(s) immediately following stopping use or cutting back use. Treatment is most effective when the last substance use is within 72 hours of detoxification.
    o Excessive use with changes in mental status, severe tremulousness (shaking) or increases in pulse and blood pressure

The right care for adolescents

Whether your child needs emergency help or ongoing, scheduled treatment, our team at Riverside Mental Health & Recovery Center will provide expert care and guidance. We help adolescents learn strategies to manage their behavioral health or substance use issues. We create personalized care plans for each child and offer a secure, supportive environment for healing.