Demystifying Mental Health Partial Hospitalization for Adolescents

According to a February 2024 article in the Journal of American Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the prevalence of mental health conditions in adolescents has been increasing worldwide, outpacing the availability of effective mental health care. More adolescents require acute inpatient psychiatric hospitalization, but do not have resources for sub-acute care after discharge. Step-down programs, often known as partial hospitalization or day treatment programs, are helpful in decreasing re-admissions but are often underutilized. These programs can also serve as a step-up from outpatient care if severity is escalating. Partial hospitalization is designed to offer this intermediate level of care between inpatient and outpatient services.

Given that adolescence is a dynamic stage of life full of transitions and a common time for symptoms of mental illness to first present, teens may have difficulty managing home, school, and social activities without therapeutic intervention. Adolescent partial hospitalization offers day treatment during weekdays, so evenings and weekends can be used for patients to test skills learned during treatment hours.

Though partial hospitalization programs primarily occur in group settings, programs should be designed in a way that meet the unique needs of each patient participating in the program. Ideally, programing includes elements such as psychoeducation, individualized treatment planning and goal setting, a variety of psychotherapeutic experiences, psychiatric evaluation, educational support, and family involvement.

The most effective adolescent partial hospitalization programs are staffed by multidisciplinary treatment teams including a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist and psychiatric nurse practitioner, mental health specialist, specialized therapists, licensed social worker, psychiatric registered nurse, licensed teacher, and a dietitian.

Patients and families participating in adolescent partial hospitalization should benefit from tangible insights and skills that will foster resilience, improve communication, bolster coping skills and functioning. These tools are intended to help better navigate daily life and maximize a teen’s chances for success.

Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason, Ohio offers an adolescent partial hospitalization program for mental health. Learn more about the program at:

Similar Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


From our Sponsors