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Psychiatric Treatment

Psychiatric Treatment for Troubled Teens

Psychiatric treatment, or “Acute Care,” is the most extreme form of treatment available and should only be considered when you believe your teen’s life or the lives of those around them are in danger. During psychiatric treatment, a teen is usually in a locked-down hospital facility and is under 24/7 supervision. They may be additionally restrained if putting themselves or hospital staff in danger.

Psychiatric treatment or hospitalization is generally used if a teen:

  • Has made a suicide attempt
  • Is hallucinating or out of touch with reality
  • Is experiencing a manic episode
  • Has threatened someone with a weapon or attempted violence


Psychiatric treatment usually only lasts a few days and is meant to be a way to help the teen out of immediate danger. However, it is usually recommended that once a teen leaves psychiatric treatment they are quickly enrolled in another residential program to work towards a long-term solution for the issues they are facing.

During their stay in the hospital, a team of doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and other professionals will work with your teen and family to help you determine the best long-term treatment plan. This evaluation may include psychological testing, individual and group therapy, occupational therapy, family counseling, and medication prescription.

Once an official evaluation or diagnosis has been made, a hospital caseworker or social worker will likely work with you to place your teen into the appropriate program, or to train you on how you can best help your teen at home.