Programs for Troubled Teens

One option of treatment for depressed teens is a program for your troubled teen. These programs have options for struggling teens who suffer from depression that have tried outpatient therapy. Some of these programs for troubled teens are specialty boarding schools, but these may not be as equipped to help struggling teens.

Residential Treatment Centers

Residential treatment centers are programs for troubled teens. Residential treatment centers are licensed by each state and allowed to treat certain ages of children, usually 12-18. RTCs, as they are sometimes called, treat a range of problems including depression, anxiety, stress, behavior disorders, conduct disorders and more. These types of programs for troubled teens have licensed therapists on staff in most cases. They can also help with drug treatment, alcohol treatment, and many other teen issues.

Schools for Troubled Teens

Quite often programs for troubled teens, like RTCs, are also accredited schools for troubled youth. Sometimes they are accredited through one of the few regional accrediting groups or they sometimes use distance learning programs. This enables a depressed teen, who is struggling at home or school, to get their school credits or even graduate while at the program/school.  Some of these schools for troubled teens offer great education options with AP courses, tutors, and concurrent enrollment.

Depression Treatment

Enrolling your teen into a specialty school or program for troubled teens is a big step. Make sure you do your homework on the program, school, or treatment center. You should know what licensing they have in place and if they have accredidation through a regional body. Parents should also consult their local mental health professional, medical doctor, etc.

Programs that claim to help

Some programs that have no licensed therapists on staff will offer to help treat your depressed teen. The programs for troubled teens are not the best option for a severely depressed teenager. This can include wilderness programs, boot camps, and/or military schools. Some believe that placing a severely depressed teen into a military school can worsen the condition. In fact, most military schools will not accept a student if they are aware of certain issues with depression. They are not equipped like a residential treatment center. There are some military schools for troubled teens that can help behavior disorders and defiance, but for depression – these are not the answer. Boot camps for troubled teens are in the same boat here – they are not for depressed or suicidal teenagers.


There are many great programs for troubled teens. Just make sure you get a recommendation from a local therapist and make sure the school/program meets certain criteria in licensing and education areas. You should get help for your struggling teen as soon as possible.