Open Letter From The CEO

I Know What It Is Like To Be A Parent Of A Troubled Teen

by Karen Lee, President & CEO

The Elk River Treatment Program was born of personal experience. I know what it is to be the parent of a troubled teen. Many years ago I was forced to place my teenage son in a treatment program in Idaho. The program left me with more questions than answers with regards to mental health issues. The need for answers also ignited the interest of a close circle of friends and associates.

My son’s father and I have spent our adult lives as medical professionals. Using our education and experience, intensive research of mental illness in relation to substance abuse, followed by extensive on-the-ground observation of residential programs and acute hospital settings, we developed a program that uses a comprehensive approach to mental health issues and substance abuse.

Since taking our first resident in January of 2006, Elk River Treatment Program has successfully treated hundreds of adolescents and teenagers who were considered “troubled teens.” I wish that I could write that each and every one of our residents left our program and never faltered, but that’s just not true and frankly, it’s an unreasonable expectation. My own son, now an adult, continues to struggle. There have been periods of heartbreak since he left treatment, but as I stress to families who call our office for help, treatment is just the beginning of the recovery process.

Each parent that I encounter knows that I have walked in their shoes. It is very likely that I know what they are experiencing and I will continue to use that knowledge to help them. Unfortunately, there is no downhill slide when coping with substance abuse, mental health issues or a combination of the two, but our commitment to help is stronger than ever.

Our mission is to provide an environment of respect, acceptance, and challenge where young people can become self-directed, educated and contributing members of society. The challenge we offer is a battle and a journey to claim or re-claim one’s self, unite or reunite families, and provide an innovative, individualized academic program. The program is simple, but not easy. No battle is won, no reward received, no Pinnacle is reached without some pain.

I believe strongly in an educated, experienced Treatment Team approach when working with troubled teens, and parents are an integral and essential part of that team. I invite you to talk with me or any of our admission professionals. We look forward to working with you and your teen.

- Karen Lee