A Growing Need for Residential Treatment Centers for Teens in Minnesota and the Midwest

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Like adolescents across the nation, teens in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest are struggling. Rates of teen mental health problems, suicidal ideation, and vaping are all on the rise in these states. Statistics show that nearly a quarter of 11th graders in Minnesota have considered suicide. Yet thousands of teens suffering from depression have not received care at treatment centers in Minnesota or neighboring states.

Research on Midwest behavioral health reveals that increasing numbers of young people in this region are suffering from mental health issues. According to Mental Health America, up to 62 percent of young people in these states are in need of treatment for major depression, but are unable to access Midwest mental health services.

Midwest Mental Health Statistics

Each year, Mental Health America (MHA) ranks all 50 states and Washington DC in terms of mental health, substance abuse, and access to care. MHA’s 2021 report found that 14 percent of Minnesota youth had at least one major depressive episode during the last year. Furthermore, one out of every 10 Minnesota adolescents experienced severe depressive episodes. In addition, 17,000 teens in the state struggled with substance abuse.

In the Chicago area, the closest major metropolitan area outside of Minnesota, the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey also shows highly troubling data on teen mental health. According to the survey, 17 percent of high school students in Chicago have seriously considered suicide, 13 percent have made a plan to attempt suicide, and 10 percent have actually made an attempt. In addition, 38 percent reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for at least two weeks in a row.

These statistics offer a representative snapshot of Midwest behavioral health in general. MHA’s 2021 data shows that nearly all of the other 12 states in the Midwest region rank in the bottom half among the 50 US states in terms of access to care as well as the number of young people suffering from major depression and severe major depression.

New Stats on the Need for Midwest Mental Health Services

Looking at Minnesota mental health in particular, the Minnesota Student Survey illustrates the need for residential treatment centers for teens in Minnesota.

  • The number of 11th-grade girls in Minnesota who report having long-term mental health, behavioral, or emotional problems more than doubled from 2013 to 2019, from 15 to 30 percent.
  • Among the 11th-grade girls who reported missing school in the last 30 days, 24 percent said their absences were due to feeling very sad, hopeless, anxious, stressed, or angry.
  • 25 percent of Minnesota 11th-graders reported using an e-cigarette, also known as vaping, in the past 30 days—a 54 percent increase from the 2016 survey.
  • Twice as many 8th graders reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, compared to the 2016 MSS.


of Minnesota youth experienced severe depressive episodes in 2020


of youth in the Midwest do not receive any treatment for depression

1 in 10

11th graders in Minnesota have reported attempting suicide

Treatment works

Effective treatment for mental health disorders, especially if it begins soon after symptoms appear, can help reduce the impact on the adolescent’s life. hhs.gov


hospitals in the Midwest, often the only source of mental health services here, have closed since 2010


of the Midwest states have seen the highest increases in youth suicide rates among all 50 states, according to the CDC

Access to Adolescent Treatment Centers in Minnesota

Far too many struggling teens in Minnesota are not getting the help they need, indicating a lack of treatment centers in Minnesota and other parts of the state. The 2021 MHA rankings showed that 55.4 percent of Minnesota youth with major depression did not have access to mental healthcare.

That’s a slightly better number than the national average: A discouraging 59.6 percent of US teens didn’t receive any treatment for depression in the last year, according to the MHA rankings. However, it still means that 32,000 teens in Minnesota received no care at all for their depression. Furthermore, even though most youth in the state had insurance plans that would have covered treatment centers in Minnesota, only a third of the state’s teens with depression received any type of consistent treatment.

The lack of access to residential treatment centers for teens in Minnesota or other treatment providers is a problem that has been acknowledged by the state’s mental health experts. Dr. Joshua Stein, president of the Minnesota Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, says that the state faces two specific issues in delivering mental healthcare. One is the difficulty creating “a good prevention model” to help identify individuals’ mental health issues before they reach a crisis point. The other is the shortage of care providers. “In rural Minnesota, this is an incredible issue,” Stein said. The situation is similar, if not worse, when it comes to Midwest mental health services in surrounding states.

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What to Expect at Newport Academy’s Residential Treatment Center for Teens

Newport Academy is addressing the lack of Midwest behavioral health services with our new residential treatment centers for teens in Minnesota, which includes separate facilities for females and males. Our clinical model of care addresses the underlying causes of mental health and co-occurring disorders, not just the behavioral symptoms. Therefore, teens work with credentialed behavioral healthcare experts to heal the trauma and attachment wounds that catalyze anxiety, depression, and maladaptive behaviors like substance abuse, self-harm, and eating disorders.

Research finds that longer-term care (at least 90 days of treatment) is necessary to make lasting positive change. Therefore, our treatment centers in Minnesota provide strengths-based academic programming for teens, so they don’t fall behind in school while receiving the mental health treatment they need. At our residential treatment Minnesota, clients’ schedules include time in the classroom and studying life skills, in addition to individual, family, and group therapy sessions. Moreover, our campus is located in a beautiful natural setting, and Adventure Therapy with trained and licensed therapists is an essential aspect of the treatment experience.

The Most Important Components of Mental Healthcare at Newport Academy

In our residential treatment center Minnesota, each teen has a tailored treatment plan, with clear goals and measurable outcomes. Moreover, the plan includes a variety of evidence-based clinical and experiential modalities. Because every teen responds differently to different therapeutic approaches, it may take time to find the ones that are most effective for them. Our approach gives adolescents the opportunity to experience a wide range of modalities, including:

Moreover, teens build caring and supportive relationships with peers and mentors, while healing the parent-child relationship through our groundbreaking Attachment-Based Family Therapy approach. We recognize that involving the family in the treatment process is an essential part of achieving long-term, sustainable healing, and that authentic connections are at the heart of the healing journey.

Once our clients are ready to leave treatment, clinicians work with the family to create a comprehensive plan for continuing care after discharge. This typically includes a Partial Hospitalization Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, or another type of Midwest mental health services.

Learn More About Our Teen Treatment Centers in Minnesota

Our mission is to empower teens and restore families. To that end, our clients are not only guided to heal underlying trauma, they also learn and practice new, healthy strategies for daily living, communication with family, resilience building, and self-care. These are lifelong tools that they can take home with them when they leave treatment.

Ultimately, we believe the goal of treatment is to support adolescents’ physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being so they can move forward into a thriving future. To learn more about our residential treatment center serving teens in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest, contact us today.