Families who find themselves in the middle of a behavioral health crisis are desperately searching for guidance. When emotions are running high, you might not know where to turn, or maybe it is difficult to see any real path forward. You need a guide–someone you can trust who is knowledgeable and has walked the mental behavioral path before.

Options For Families In The Middle Of A Behavioral Health Crisis

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When your family is trying to navigate the depths and pains of a behavioral health crisis, the emotions can be overwhelming. What can make matters worse is when you don’t have a clear path forward–or any idea of the right next step to take for everyone involved. It can be a very difficult time for the entire family.

If you are a parent who is feeling lost, desperate, and in need of guidance, we can help you navigate the options available to you. Ultimately, choosing which one is best will depend on your family’s or loved one’s specific needs, circumstances, and financial abilities. If you are looking for options, here are a few, depending on circumstance and needs, that could be available to you.

Option 1: Hospitalization (Average Cost: $2500/day)

This is usually some form of lockdown, monitored and managed by qualified doctors and psychiatrists. This short-term effort aims to stabilize and clinically assess your child. 

The average cost is $2,500 per day, which is usually covered by insurance. Hospitalization does have its pros and cons. For instance, it can be beneficial for someone in a full-blown mental health crisis, meaning that stabilization is crucial in order to prevent an escalation that could lead to suicide or other risky behaviors. However, hospitalization is not a good option for an adolescent or young adult who may be suffering from anxiety and depression but is relatively stable otherwise. 

Option 2: Rehabilitation for Substance Abuse (Average Cost: $800-2000/day)

There are a number of good programs for substance abuse treatment, both by private and state-funded institutions. However, substance abuse treatment is very different from mental and behavioral health treatment. 

For instance, if you send a child who is using cannabis as a form of self-medication or self-soothing to a full-blown addiction rehab facility, they are going to be exposed to young people who are addicted to much stronger drugs like meth and heroin. For a young person that is smoking too much pot and acting out, this is not a good option as they will be exposed to things that may encourage further exploration into substance use

Rehab is a good fit for kids whose life is in danger because of their hard-core substance abuse or for those who cannot communicate clearly or fully participate and engage in therapy due to the substances they are using.

Option 3: State-Run Residential Program (Cost Varies)

While the cost of these facilities may be less than a private residential program, many are already full and have long waiting lists. If you are in the middle of a behavioral health crisis, this is often not a viable option if you need immediate help.

Option 4: Intensive Outpatient (IOP) (Average Cost: $3,000 – $10,000 for an 8-12 week program)

Intensive outpatient programs are a good option for a young person who is willing to attend and fully engage. One benefit of an IOP program is that it is usually four to eight hours a day of intensive clinical support and supervision, and then the participant can go home and stay with their family. Another benefit is that insurance will usually cover IOP programs. The cost of this program depends on the length of stay and the severity of the disorder.

For a young person who is refusing to participate in or attend school, refusing to cooperate or talk with their parents, or refusing to engage in any kind of meaningful therapy this is not an appropriate option. This is an intensive option targeted toward youth that is deeply entrenched in addiction or contemplating self-harm. Or any youth that has behavioral health problems that have become life-threatening, like a child who is depressed and is considering suicide.

Option 5: Adventure Therapy/Therapeutic Gap Semester (Average Cost: $650/day)

Relying on decades of experience in the Costa Rican outdoor industry and the incredible science behind nature’s healing powers, Pure Life Adventure’s bicultural team provides a therapeutically sophisticated and holistic approach to helping adolescents and young adults struggling with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, executive function deficits, trauma, and substance abuse. 

Pure Life provides highly effective treatment through traditional individual and group therapy with Masters level licensed therapists combined with nature-based experiential learning and adventure. Our integrated and dynamic approach to true healing includes an emphasis on fitness, mindfulness, important life skills, and cultural immersion. 

Our students are individuals with very real challenges who are looking for lasting change through learning about and practicing self-efficacy. We seek to help youth discover the source of their struggles and create healthy pathways to a better life for good.

Our students are individuals with very real challenges who are looking for lasting change through learning about and practicing self-efficacy. We seek to help youth discover the source of their struggles and create healthy pathways to a better life for good.

Juvenile Detention Or Jail

No parent would choose juvenile detention or jail for their child. Despite a family’s best efforts, when a young person’s behavior has become so out of control or dangerous that the police and court system become involved. Unfortunately, juvenile detention or jail typically does not include treatment for the child’s core behavioral health issues. 

It’s important to understand that teen and even young adult brains are still in the development stage. They are still developing impulse control and the ability to navigate their own emotions in healthy ways. When you mix in anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders with a brain still developing, it can lead to poor choices. 

When youth act out in these drastic ways, it is likely because they are struggling with undiagnosed mental health issues. The obvious goal of any parent is to give their child the support and assistance they need to prevent this type of scenario. Familial support, professional guidance, and other therapeutic efforts can allow developing youth to heal and find healthy ways to thrive despite their struggles.

Which Option Is Right For You?

The truth is, the type of program or facility you enroll your child in and the method used to get them there is going to be based on your financial limitations, your loved one’s current mental state, their behavior towards themselves as well as others (Is it harmful or dangerous?), and what type of help they are in immediate need of (suicide prevention, substance detox, etc.). The more dangerous the behavioral health crisis is, the more extreme the corrective measures may need to be, even if that means getting help with less cooperation from the patient.

That said, youth who are not dangerous but clearly need help with their mental needs often have more flexibility in their program choices. Many of those who are willing to discuss their options and needs regarding their behavioral health crisis will voluntarily enter a program when they understand how it can benefit them. The adolescents and young adults that fall into this category could potentially see incredible improvement and healing through Pure Life’s adventure therapy program if and when they are ready to participate. 

We’ve seen the results, we believe in what we do, and we’re here when you or your loved one is ready to start their journey to healing.

Ready For Lasting Change?

Pure Life Adventure Therapy program for young adults is centered around using high-adventure activities such as surfing, rappelling, and whitewater rafting to help break down walls and challenge students, while also giving our licensed therapists a unique look into the individual struggles of each student.

During their stay, students will engage in individual therapy as well as group therapy on a weekly basis. Individual therapy will help students address their individual weaknesses, while group therapy helps a student develop empathy and understanding for others. In our adventure therapy program, we use a hands-on, strengths-based, student-integrated clinical therapy model through which participants quickly learn new, healthy coping strategies, behavioral and emotional regulation, and leadership and life skills that lead to future success. 

The goal of our adventure therapy program has always been the development of the student’s ability to believe in themselves and to set and complete goals. Our students will leave our adventure therapy with the knowledge that they can do hard things. After completing the program, your child will be able to use their strengths, their newfound sense of self-determination, and good old-fashioned grit to continue to progress in life and build a strong foundation for their future. Never one to rest on past laurels, we are continually using the latest research and data to guide us in refining our young adult treatment program.

Ready for lasting change? If your young adult is struggling with mental health issues such as depression, low self-esteem, low motivation, anxiety, or struggling to progress into adulthood, please reach out to Pure Life Adventure today. We would love to speak with you about your child, their needs, and how we can help.

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