There are a number of reasons why adolescents might need to attend a treatment program while in school. Whether they’re dealing with mood disorders like depression or secondary issues like substance abuse that’s creating severe behavioral issues, mental health treatment in a residential treatment center can offer them the support and resources they need to effectively treat and move past mental illness and other serious issues. But when it comes time for a teen to return to high school, how can they make the transition seamless? Here are a few tips to get your teen back on track when they’re ready to return to school.

Take things slowly and use the tools they learned in therapy.

A teenage residential treatment center can be the best option for teens for a number of reasons. Unlike traditional sources of therapy, a residential treatment program acts as a safe haven for teens where they can explore their trauma in a stress-free environment. Regardless of their behavior or mental health disorders, teens also have access to a clinical treatment team applying a treatment plan that’s tailored to their needs. Whether they respond best to therapeutic modalities like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) or other treatment approaches, they’re given numerous tools throughout residential treatment that help them work through mental health issues more effectively.

The problem? When young people leave the treatment center and return to school, they’re once again in a more stressful environment that will test what they’ve learned in a residential program. As they transition back into their everyday lives, make sure they’re applying the life skills and coping mechanisms that they’ve learned along the way. This will make it easier for them to acclimate to these changes and work through their stress or difficult feelings more effectively.

Work with available resources to make up for lost time.

Teachers are generally very understanding and will work with you and your teen as you attend a treatment center. However, life still goes on during treatment. If your child is a high school senior, for example, they’re still going to need to prepare for college applications and work toward their future once they get back. An excellent first step to take is to look for helpful resources that can reduce overall stress and make getting back on track simpler. In this scenario, you could always turn to the best college counselors in your area. They can help your child improve their test scores, walk them through the college admissions process, and even assist with securing financial aid. No matter what your teen might be struggling with, there’s always help out there!

Prioritize continued treatment as they navigate daily life.

We can’t control what’s going on around us, but we can control how we react. As your teen returns to potential stressors and triggers, it’s critical that they continue their therapy to ensure that they’re able to talk about their problems and find solutions with the support of a counselor. Therapy might not go on forever, but when teens are in a particularly vulnerable state, getting help after they’ve been to a treatment program will make it easier for them to navigate daily life moving forward.

The teenage years come with numerous changes, and things like substance use disorder and mental health issues can only exacerbate the difficulty of being a young adult. If your child recently attended a treatment program and you want to make sure that they are fully supported and healthy moving forward, use the guide above to help them transition back to school and achieve a better quality of life.