The recent tragedy in Newtown, CT has many conversations sparked about the need for mental health services. As a Parent Advocate for over a decade, I speak with parents on a daily basis and hear their desperation for assistance with their tween or teenager. Some parents are at their wit’s end and feel like a hostage in their own home by their own child, however the resources can be limited for some.
Residential therapy is an excellent option however it can be costly. Some insurances will help cover the cost, but only a portion of it usually. In most cases it is usually a PPO insurance that will cover the clinical component of a residential program and even with that, usually a parent has to be prepared to pay the upfront costs and file the claims to be reimbursed. (This all depends on the mental health policy and what it covers). HMO can be very limited when it comes to mental health, which is why we are hearing a lot about being under-insured in mental health.
When it comes to Residential Treatment Centers, another concern parents need to be aware of is the scams that are out there. I was once a victim of one over a decade ago, which prompted me to created my organization – Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.) Parents need to understand there are some programs and schools (or programs that claim to be schools) online with toll free numbers going to marketing arms ready to prey on desperate parents. This is exactly what happened to us. Though there are many excellent programs and schools in our country, like with many other businesses, there are always those that are less than what you would want for your child.
I always encourage parents to do their due diligence. The program that duped my family, though it is closed now, has several other programs opened under different names. They have a specialty of always changing names, in my opinion. But you will notice the staff seems to stay the same. Recently I heard how their LaVerkin, Utah program has gone from Cross Creek to Horizon Academy to Riverview now I just heard they are calling themselves Youth Foundation. I don’t know – but I do know if you are doing things the right way you don’t have to hide under all these name changes – of course, that is my opinion again.
As you can imagine, this group has a script they share with their potential parents about me too. I am a disgruntled parent. Yes, I am – you harm my daughter, a parent becomes disgruntled. You dupe me, scam me – I become disgruntled. I won in a “jury trial”. I didn’t settle out court with a confidentiality – though they will tell you a jury made a mistake -I will say not jurors condone child abuse. Now they are facing another lawsuit. What is there excuse now? I assume that is why the name change again.
Either way – use your gut. If it doesn’t seem right – it usually isn’t.
At the end – your child needs help – get them help. Don’t make a rash decision, make an educated one.