Discovery Unit - Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health

Our Approach

DiscoveryUnit

Adolescence can be difficult; we’ve all been there. The changing hormones alone are hard enough for teens and their families. Some need extra help to get them through, and that’s okay. It’s okay to ask for help. We’re here for all of you.

Anger. Depression. Impulsive behavior. Sound familiar? Providence Discovery Unit is an inpatient facility equipped with the expertise needed to keep your teen safe, teach them coping skills and support the entire family. 

Our counselors, therapists, psychiatrists and other specialists provide teens, ages 13 to 18, the tools they need to manage their mental health issues.

Services We Offer

Emergency care

If your teen is having a mental health crisis, call our crisis line at (907) 563-3200, or come to the emergency department at Providence Alaska Medical Center.   

One of our psychiatric nurse practitioners or a licensed mental health counselor will talk with your teen, you and their physician and/or on-call psychiatrist to determine their mental health status.

If inpatient care isn’t needed, we’ll help your child get through the immediate crisis and then set them up with outpatient therapy. If our experts believe your teen will benefit from inpatient care, we will admit them to the Discovery Unit as quickly as possible.

Inpatient program

The foundation of care at our Discovery Unit is to help teens learn how to cope with daily issues. To do this, we need to know your child’s mental health history, and you will be asked to sign a release-of-information form for previous mental health providers. In most cases, teens stay with us for 10 to 14 days.

During this time, your child’s care will include: 

  • A caring staff of registered nurses, mental health therapists, mental health specialists, patient care technicians, educators and discharge planners.
  • A treatment team of psychiatrists, psychologists and a physician. 
  • Daily individual and group therapy, which provides your teen the care needed to establish long-term coping skills. 
  • School time with our education liaison, who is an experienced, certified teacher. This person works with personnel from your teen’s school, your family and your child to coordinate assignments and transition back to school. 

During Your Stay

We want your teen to feel comfortable while they are here. We established the following guidelines, which we’ve found to be successful for both teens and their families:

  • Teens should bring three sets of clothing and one comfort item, such as a stuffed animal or pillow.
  • Toiletries should not be in glass containers or include mirrors. 
  • Only parents, guardians and siblings can visit our patients. 
  • Our patients can receive calls only from adult family members who have the designated code word, which will be provided during admission 
  • Parents or guardians can call the unit any time to check in with our staff. 
  • Patients may only call their parents or guardians. 

The Discovery Unit is not locked. We expect our patients to stay here and follow our guidelines for the success of their mental health and wellbeing. Participating in our daily activities give them the best chance for healing and growing into well-adjusted adults.

Conditions and Issues We Treat

Our staff is committed to giving your teen individualized care that is designed to encourage confidence and growth.

We treat young patients who need help with: 

  • Anger management
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Anxiety disorders 
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder 
  • Depression 
  • Family conflicts 
  • Grief and loss issues 
  • High-risk behaviors 
  • Homicidal ideations 
  • Impulse control 
  • Interpersonal relations 
  • Learning disabilities 
  • Psychosis 
  • Self-esteem issues 
  • Sexual abuse 
  • Suicidal ideation

Going Home

Our discharge planners work closely with the treatment team, your teen and the family to arrange ongoing treatment such as:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Drug and alcohol treatment
  • Residential care

More Information

To learn more about the Providence Discovery Unit, please call us at 907-212-4843. To find general information about adolescent mental health and other health topics, visit our online health library health library.