Often times when parents reach out to us they share that they are unsure if their son or daughter needs residential treatment for mental health issues. Many second guess themselves because that are rightly concerned about what their child might be exposed to in a typical teen treatment program. Most often their child doesn't have severe conduct issues and they don't want their child exposed to bullies, violence or other severe behaviors.
At Paradigm Austin, we work hard to address the concerns related to exposure, by enforcing rigorous exclusionary criteria. We do not allow young people out of juvenile hall, youth with gang affiliations, histories of violence, fire starters or perpetrators to enter treatment in our program. In addition we guard against allowing youth who are bullies or who participate in the pervasive "mean girl" dynamic to enter treatment with us. One of our greatest responsibilities is protecting the safety of the milieu. By doing so we protect the physical and emotional safety of your child. As a result, we find that our program is most often populated by teens who are described by their parents, teachers and neighbors as "good kids" who simply need help with something.
If you are unclear about your child's treatment needs, we are available to assist by phone, email, Skype or in person. We will do all that we can to assist you in determining if residential treatment is appropriate and if so, if we are the right fit. You can contact us by phone, 24/7 at 955-780 TEEN.
Should you not be ready to speak with us or any other mental health or behavioral health care professional, we offer the following tips to assist you in helping your teen.
- First and foremost; trust your instincts as a parent. If you feel like your teen is in trouble, and in need of mental health treatment, there’s probably a very good reason that you feel that way. If you choose to reach out and you’re wrong… it will only show how much you care.
- Time and Place matter. You will want to find a safe place and time where you and your teen can talk freely.
- Despite how frightening it can feel, it is important to be open and honest. This is what family is for.
- You should talk specifically about what you have observed, rather than making judgments or discussing things that you have been told.
- Tell them how you feel: scared, worried, frustrated, angry, concerned, confused, etc. When you discuss your feelings avoid making accusations. By doing so you are more likely to avoid defensive reaction.
- Don't put things off. The sooner you seek out help from professionals, the sooner your teen will likely be able to change the trajectory of their life. The longer you delay, the more difficult change becomes, And some behaviors are of course dangerous.
- Don't keep your concerns a secret; let someone know. Tell your spouse, another member of your family, a close friend, a teacher, clergy, a counselor, or call us. This is perhaps the most difficult step. Unfortunately, w secrets can be deadly.
- Do your own research around issues of concern and all of the treatment options available. If your teen acknowledges that they do in fact need help, they may still be resistant to the idea of treatment. This makes sense, especially if they are only aware of the old school, punitive treatment programs that dominate youth testament. It is ideal if you can let them know about better options available to them. We frequently encourage parents to share our website with their teen. We are also happy to send you additional materials that might help to reduce their anxiety about treatment. We also welcome calls from young people. They can call any time and ask us anything. Nothing is off limits.
- As hard as it may be, don't give up. If your first effort to help your teen hasn’t gone the way you had hoped, a different approach may be needed. Changing beliefs behaviors can be very difficult. If possible, reach out for help from professionals who specialize helping teens who are off course. We at Paradigm Austin are happy to assist you in connecting with a therapist or anyone else in your area who might be able to provide you with the support and assistance that you need.
- Never be afraid to ask for help. Please call us 24/7/365. It is unlikely that you will have questions different than those we answer for the families who call us every day. Regardless, there are no stupid questions. We have devoted our professional lives to helping young people and families who are experiencing challenges like your own. We always welcome any opportunity to be of service.
To reach us simply call 1-855 780 8336.