Psychiatric care and medication management are an integral part of the holistic treatment approach.
Equinox has a psychiatrist on staff who is fully integrated into the treatment team. The psychiatrist participates in every treatment team review of the residents each week.
At Equinox, we take a conservative approach to the use of medication in the treatment of mental health issues in adolescents. Many of our residents clearly meet diagnostic criteria for use of a medication intervention in their treatment plan, but others do not. One of the benefits of our residential setting–in which students are supervised by staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week–is that we can share our observations with the psychiatric team, which helps them to make well-informed medical decisions.
We find that many of our residents come to us on medications which are not required in their long-term treatment. In many cases, treatment response is positive enough that we can significantly reduce or even eliminate the need for medications. Of course, this process is very methodical. It includes consultation with the entire treatment team as well as the parents, and takes place over a prolonged period of time. Parents and residents are always involved in discussions about medications before any changes are made.
The cost of these services is not included in our per diem rate. Not all residents require these services on a regular basis, so they are charged only to families when used. In addition, psychiatric services are generally reimbursable by health insurance plans, and Equinox assists families in getting the cost of these services reimbursed.