medication management for teens

Medication Management for Teens with Depression

Medication management is often one of the first lines of treatment for teens with depression, but it is only one part of learning to manage the symptoms of depression. Medication may help rebalance neurochemistry, but without healthier coping mechanisms, teens may continue to struggle with depression. With on-staff medical and psychiatric support, Elevations RTC can help complex teens with inaccurate and conflicting diagnoses. While most students at Elevations do not require intensive psychiatric care, we believe our medical care offers all family comfort in knowing the support and expertise are there.

What psychiatric services are available at Elevations RTC?

Our psychiatrist is on campus three days a week and meets with students on an as needed basis. Some students benefit from short check-ins, while others may need more time to advocate for their needs,  process concerns, and figure out a plan of how to better support them. 

Our psychiatric team is very conservative when it comes to prescribing medication, due to the age of the students we work with and the fact that they are in residential care, where their needs are being met in a holistic way. A majority of our students are either on medication or have previously been on medication when they come to the program and most of them have cycled through various combinations of medications already trying to find the appropriate dose. 

Who is on the Medical Team at Elevations RTC?

At Elevations RTC, we have two primary psychiatric providers–our Board Certified adolescent psychiatrist and our Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. This allows them to dedicate more individualized attention to their caseload and to collaborate on how medication management fits into students’ treatment plans.  We also have nursing staff available around the clock to administer medications and take care of physical health needs. 

What is Elevations’ philosophy towards medication management for teens?

The basic idea is to remove medications that they have been taking to see what their mood and behavior is like without them and then starting small, if appropriate. Some students come to the program overmedicated because they’ve continued to struggle on an outpatient basis, while others are defiant and haven’t been taking medications as prescribed. For most students, their needs are complex, so we understand that antidepressants aren’t necessarily going to fix everything. Our goal is to try to get teens down to one or two medications and focus more on helping them develop coping skills to manage their emotions, rather than prescriptions.

Parents are involved in every step of the medication management process. Our psychiatrists don’t make medication changes until parents understand why and what they are doing and consent to these changes.

Complementary Therapies

In addition to medication management, Elevations RTC helps students manage symptoms of depression through:

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Specialty Groups
  • 12 Step Model 
  • Family Therapy
  • Recreation Programming
  • Learning Support

Elevations RTC Can Help 

Elevations RTC is a program for adolescents ages 13-18 that are struggling with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, impulsivity, and family conflict. We offer a multidisciplinary approach and provide college-preparatory academics, therapeutic recreation activities, and individual, family and group psychotherapy. Our goal is to teach students positive coping skills, communication skills, and self-care practices to help them manage symptoms of depression when stressors arise. Elevations gives students the tools they need to lead healthy, happy lives. 

For more information about psychiatric services at Elevations RTC, please call 1-855-290-968.

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