Helpful Words for Parents

Parents often have a lot of questions and worries about sending an adolescent to a residential program for treatment. If you would like to talk with someone on our admissions team, please feel free to reach out and a counselor will be happy to answer any and all of your questions.

Here are some insightful thoughts and perspectives for parents or caregivers who are “worried” (as parents usually are) about making this important decision for their child, shared by Moriah’s Director of Alumni Services, Hannah Rawson MSW-I, CADC-I.



Helpful Words for Parents Regarding Treatment


– The parent that “is worried about their child missing a holiday/birthday/event”: 

Unfortunately, there is never going to be a “good time” or “right time” to start treatment. Although missing a holiday is really hard, our hope is that you and your child will be in a healthier and more stable space to enjoy all of the future holidays together.

The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you get out.

– The parent that “is worried about removing their child from school”: 

At Moriah, it doesn’t have to be school OR treatment. It can be school AND treatment. There are dedicated hours in the treatment schedule to focus on school. We can connect you to our academic coordinator if you have more specific questions regarding schooling options.

– The parent that “wants to wait a few weeks/months” to commit”: 

I understand your hesitation to commit to treatment. This is a big decision, however, we often see that these symptoms do not resolve themselves without professional help and even worsen.

With these types of concerns, we urge you not to delay treatment.

A client can have a good day, or even a good week, and make it seem as if they are “doing better” or “no longer need help,” however their concerns often resurface and we urge parents now to wait until things once again worsen.

– The parent that “doesn’t want their child to learn bad behaviors from the other kids”: 

Each client in our care goes through an approval process with our admission, clinical, and medical teams to ensure they are a good fit for our program. We are a “hands off” facility and do not tolerate any sort of aggression or physical outbursts that would put another client or staff at risk.

– The parent that “is worried that their child is going to hate them”: 

Although your child may not want to go to treatment, as a parent it is your decision to initiate this process. We want you to feel empowered as the parent to make the decision that is best for your child and family, despite your child’s opinion.

It is completely normal for a child to be resistant to treatment. Many clients say they are not going to go etc. Our trained staff are on site to facilitate the admission process and ensure all of your questions are answered.

– The parent that “wants to start at a lower level of care”: 

Many parents want to start out at a lower level of care and “give it a try” before committing to residential treatment, even when residential treatment is the recommendation. Unfortunately, we have seen that this approach, typically, is not successful. Many clients end up stepping up in levels of care and the process ends up taking longer, which leads to frustration.

– The parent that “is worried about putting their child in a “facility.”: 

The great thing about Moriah Behavioral Health is that the homes within our program resemble an ordinary house-like setting. With this, clients are able to engage in chores, laundry, family-style meals, go for walks, swimming, etc. We want our houses to be as comfortable as possible for our clients and resemble what life will look like after treatment.

Our admissions team is always available to talk with a family and answer questions. We strongly believe in walking the family, the adolescent, and the referring provider through the process and staying closely connected through our alumni program long after treatment is complete. Assessments are always free (and by the way, advice and guidance is also free) so please reach out if you know someone who needs the kind of care that Moriah Behavioral Health provides.