Plymouth, Minn. (July 13, 2023) – Amid rising challenges facing today's young adults and teens—highlighted in a series of national advisories published by the U.S. Surgeon General—the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is launching an extended effort to help families across the nation learn more, understand they're not alone, and access resources to help navigate the complex and compound challenges of mental health, substance use, healthy relationships and more.
"As the most trusted brand in addiction and mental health care, we recognize young people and their families are struggling like never before and are often frustrated by the challenges of navigating a fractured health care system,” said Joseph Lee, MD, president and CEO of Hazelden Betty Ford.
"At Hazelden Betty Ford, we integrate the substance use, mental health, and family services that teens and young adults need, through the spirit of community that is lacking in today's world,” added Lee, a child psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist who wrote the book Recovering My Kid. "We also teach parents skills so they can step in to be a part of the solution instead of just being relegated to the sidelines. In this time of national crisis, we're expanding services so families can get more of what they need conveniently from one source—everything from clinical services to education, digital solutions, and even advocacy.”
Today, Hazelden Betty Ford announced several changes and plans at its newly named Center for Teens, Young Adults and Families in Plymouth, Minn.—which has been serving people ages 12-25 and their families since 1982. New offerings include on-site family services—part of Hazelden Betty Ford's concerted focus on innovating and expanding services for children and families, thanks to a $10 million gift from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. The new on-site family services are the latest in Hazelden Betty Ford's specialized care and support options for children, teens and adults who have loved ones on a recovery path, and those whose loved ones are not yet seeking recovery.
Hazelden Betty Ford also relaunched its "day treatment without lodging" option—unavailable during the COVID-19 pandemic—which enables young patients in Plymouth to participate in treatment on-site for five full days a week, while continuing to live at home. Day treatment is the most intense outpatient level of care—sometimes an entry point for patients and other times a next step after beginning care at the 24/7 residential level. For those needing added support, day treatment with lodging is also available.
In addition, Hazelden Betty Ford—recognizing that substance use disorders are complex but that getting the right help shouldn't be—has created new specialized teams of care navigators and ambassadors to help families explore and discuss options and ultimately access the most appropriate services to help themselves and support their loved one's healing. Mental health services are also expanding. In addition to integrated treatment for the nearly 90% of its young patients who have co-occurring mental health symptoms, Hazelden Betty Ford's outpatient mental health services—including individual, group and couples therapy—are now available to the general public.
"We see young people and families at the heart of our transformative work. That's why now, more than ever, we are leveraging our expertise, expanding our services and equipping our entire enterprise to reach and help more teens, young adults and families who need and deserve holistic, specialized care and support,” said Heather Jones, PhD, Hazelden Betty Ford's vice president of mental health, family and children's services. "At Plymouth, we have a world-class team that is exceptionally skilled at treating the complexities of co-occurring disorders and focused exclusively on young people and families. We're listening to those families and committed to being responsive. This is just the beginning of our plan to meet their evolving needs by offering more entry points and immersive options and by expanding and seamlessly integrating mental health services throughout our continuum of care.”
Instead of Hazelden Betty Ford in Plymouth, the site will now be known as Hazelden Betty Ford's Center for Teens, Young Adults and Families—a change intended to help community members more readily see that healing, hope and specialized help are available.
It is one of the only centers in the U.S. that provides comprehensive and multidisciplinary patient-centered care designed and staffed specifically to meet the needs of young people and their families. Every patient has a team of experts in their corner, working together to develop a personalized treatment plan and synchronize all aspects of substance use, mental health and medical care; family services; and ongoing support. The beautiful campus and facility near Medicine Lake, which serves families from Minnesota and across the country, features an art room, music room, gymnasium, workout room, rock climbing wall, meditation room, outdoor activity area, bookstore, classroom and a college-style cafeteria. It also hosts community-led family support meetings.
Hazelden Betty Ford is in-network with most insurance carriers, including Optum Behavioral Health Solutions, which announced this week its recognition of Hazelden Betty Ford's Center for Teens, Young Adults and Families as a best-in-class treatment center and strategic partner—that is, a health care provider with specialized programming, high concentrations of expertise, and care that is delivered in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary fashion with a focus on exceptional treatment outcomes.
"There is nothing quite like Hazelden Betty Ford's Center for Teens, Young Adults and Families in Minnesota or nationally, and there has never been a greater need for comprehensive care for struggling youth that supports the entire family,” said Optum's National Lead for Substance Use Services from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, Debra Nussbaum. "We appreciate our partnership with Hazelden Betty Ford and that our members have access to quality, comprehensive services from a respected health care provider. Hazelden Betty Ford has a longstanding commitment to youth and young adults as they begin their healing journey and beyond, providing continued guidance to them and their family all along the treatment and recovery pathway.”
The U.S. Surgeon General recently issued national advisories calling attention to widespread mental health challenges facing children, adolescents, and young adults, the risks and negative impact of social media and an epidemic of loneliness and isolation. In response, Hazelden Betty Ford is not only expanding services and patient education on emerging issues; it is also strengthening relationships with schools and providing its own public education.
Planning is under way to convene a Children, Youth and Families Conference in the Twin Cities on Oct. 5-6. Hazelden Betty Ford also is slated to present at a national Anti-Stigma Child, Youth, and Family Summit in New York City in October and will lead and host professional trainings throughout the year. Among them: an Aug. 8-9 virtual workshop on a research-backed prevention curriculum called Teen Intervene and a July 25 workshop on interventions to be held on the Plymouth campus and live-streamed. Additionally, new Let's Talk Addiction & Recovery podcast episodes are now available on pressing topics such as teen fentanyl use and teen vaping.
"We know what a powerful force recovery can be amid the great challenges young adults and families face today—from the long-term social effects of COVID-19 to the many side effects of our hyper-connected digital age,” said Lee, the president and CEO. "We see common threads in the elevated rates of anxiety, depression, trauma, overdoses and alcohol-related deaths in our country and also common threads of healing and hope that motivate us to do everything we can to empower recovery and well-being as early as possible in the lives of those who need us.”
Learn more: hazeldenbettyford.org/locations/plymouth.
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.