Admissions Criteria

Youth accepted for admission to Southern Peaks programs must have a diagnosis of a mental health disorder and may exhibit all or some of the following characteristics, depending on the specific program to which the youth will be admitted:


  • Males and females between the ages of ten (10) and twenty-one (21) at time of referral.
  • Significant impairments in multiple areas of daily life.
  • A need for 24-hour supervision due to the intensity of impairment.
  • Past history of unsuccessful treatment in a less restrictive treatment setting. There are no appropriate levels of care which are less intensive to maintain and prevent decompensation of the adolescent.
  • Persistent maladaptive traits and/or behaviors resulting in severe subjective distress.
  • Significant disturbances in the development of cognitive, language, motor, and/or reciprocal social interaction skills.
  • Aggressive and/or violent thoughts and behaviors.
  • Requires treatment for sexually abusive or offensive behavior.
  • Has co-occurring drug and/or alcohol issues.
  • Requires a structured therapeutic environment to develop effective coping skills necessary to live safely and manage the effects of his/her illness.
  • Has sufficient emotional, social, and behavioral functioning for a residential setting.
  • Has an IQ of 70 or greater, (in some instances, on a case-by-case basis, a client with a lower IQ may be considered based further evaluation).
  • The adolescent is medically stable and his/her medical needs are within the scope of the program.

Individuals may be rejected for admission to Southern Peaks for the following reasons:


  • Clinical indications for admission to acute inpatient care.
  • Life threatening symptoms of intoxication/overdose.
  • Substance abuse requiring medically monitored acute detoxification.
  • Significant cognitive impairment that prevents the client from benefiting from the treatment program.
  • Traumatic brain injuries.
  • Significant sexual deviance/assault history.
  • Medical needs outside of the scope of the program to include, but are not limited to:
    • Acute infectious illness that would subject others to unnecessary risk
    • Pregnancy
    • Blood disorders (e.g., hemophiliac)
    • Serious medical problems that require round-the-clock care