Adolescent Psychiatry

If your adolescent has suffered a trauma, the UMass Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Commonwealth Medicine lead a team of professionals who provide care in four adolescent psychiatry units.

The adolescent psychiatry units offer a healing environment as well as a full-day accredited school program. The units provide individualized treatment plans and are:

  • Family-driven
  • Youth-guided
  • Family-responsive
  • Race and culturally competent

Mental Health Services for Adolescents

  • Several of the units have peer mentors or program graduates on staff.
  • All four units recently received national awards for reducing the use of seclusion and restraint.
  • Family therapy - A parent of a former resident provides inpatient programs to encourage involvement of parents, grandparents and guardians.
  • We will help you find community resources when your child transitions home or to a community program.
  • Occupational therapists help with sensory assessments, life skills, and activities including leisure, vocational, sensory-motor and community-based.
  • Each unit has therapy dogs on-site.

Adolescent Continuing Care Units

For adolescents whose clinical conditions require psychiatric management, medical monitoring and continuing care, two 15-bed therapeutic programs are available.

The child division of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) and Massachusetts courts make the majority of referrals to these units. Youth most often come to this program from acute psychiatric units, and the courts make special referrals for forensic services.

Behavior Intense Residential Treatment (Connections)

Connections is a joint program of the DMH and Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF). Most youth come to this unit from acute inpatient hospitals. Referrals are limited to adolescents who cannot be served by a less secure environment.

Most of the teens in this program are under the care and custody of the DCF. This program provides an opportunity for adolescents to practice life skills in various settings throughout the community including libraries, sports centers, museums, YMCA and clubhouses such as the Genesis Club.

Adolescent Intensive Residential Treatment Program (Transitions)

Transitions is a 15-bed residential treatment program that serves youth ages 13 to 20. It’s the only such program in Massachusetts to admit youth of transitional age.

Programs are adapted to the needs of each youth and offer assistance in:

  • Developing independent living and vocational skills
  • Completing GEDs
  • Navigating the adult world Admissions come solely from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.