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The words “psychiatric residential treatment facility” likely conjure up images of a dark asylum full of abused patients and evil staff. This, as you hopefully know, is a fairly outdated and unrealistic representation of mental healthcare in the 21st century. In fact, a PRTF is potentially one of the best examples of this change in care standards, especially when it comes to children.

A psychiatric residential treatment facility is a specialized inpatient medical center designed to help anyone under 21 years of age with their mental health problems and cognitive issues. Overseen by trained physicians and mental health professionals, the main goal of a PRTF is to ensure that the patients staying in the facility receive the care they aren’t getting in other areas of life.

The types of issues a PRTF handles can vary quite broadly from mental illness, disorders, developmental disabilities, abuse, addiction, head injuries, and more. As a result, treatment can often be fairly intensive but still keeps a focus on the safety and wellbeing of patients. All treatments conducted at a PRTF are evidence-based and overseen by licensed professionals in an accredited environment.

In general, admission to a PRTF happens because these or other issues can’t be properly cared for in a child’s home environment or in an outpatient program. The idea is to bring patients into an environment that is both conducive to healing as well as monitored by those who can help them, two things often lacking in the lives of those patients prior to their stay at a facility. Additionally, PRTFs only accept patients who qualify for Medicaid, a fact that sets them apart from other types of inpatient services like residential treatment centers.

For many children who might otherwise be written off, psychiatric residential treatment facilities may be their best hope for a better life. If you’re looking for more information on PRTFs or any other topics related to the mental wellbeing of children, contact us today to learn more.