The Brookside Intensive Treatment Unit strives to break the debilitating cycle of multiple failed placements and repeated hospitalizations experienced by our students.
We provide crisis stabilization and comprehensive diagnostic assessment services for females with severe behavioral and psychiatric challenges. Each student referred to the Brookside ITU (ages 6-18 at intake) has a unique history and combination of needs that require us to provide highly specialized and individualized services. Our high staffing ratios, small classrooms, and lower clinical caseloads allow us to personalize a plan that allows each child to build upon their strengths and prepare for a less restrictive setting. During the initial stabilization/evaluation period, we will conduct a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary diagnostic assessment, leading to recommendations for continued care – be it step down to one of our less-restrictive campuses, return to the child’s home community or, if necessary, continued care at our more intensive level of supervision at the ITU. Hillcrest is committed to learning what works for students to ensure that their continued progress, stability and permanency goals are fully supported.
The Brookside Intensive Unit is located in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Great Barrington, MA. The campus is a large facility in a rural setting, with access to many recreational and cultural activities. We believe that an active, engaged student is more likely to succeed and encourage participation in diverse activities including hiking, theater, music, canoeing and challenge activities on our high-ropes course. As our students exhibit safe behaviors we encourage involvement in the surrounding community as deemed appropriate by the treatment team – of which families and guardians are an active part.
Essential components of care and treatment at the ITU:
With one-to-one staffing readily available, the ITU ensures a safe, intensive, highly structured treatment program.
• Specialized therapeutic services provided by licensed clinicians: Students will receive both individual and group therapy. DBT-based social skills groups can be bolstered by additional groups focused on high-risk behaviors such as firesetting, self-harm, or sexual decision-making.
• Small six-student classrooms with one-on-one assistance readily available as needed: Our five classrooms can meet a diverse range of educational needs – whether the student is college bound or is in need of specific vocational skills.
• Psychiatric services: Our psychiatrist will work with students and families to develop an effective treatment regimen. The effectiveness of medications are reviewed as much as weekly.
• Comprehensive nursing services: Nurses are on campus fourteen hours a day providing individualized care and treatment, and are available on-call around the clock.
• Rehabilitation services such as speech and occupational therapy are available as required by the student’s IEP.
• 24-hour supervision and support by highly trained, TCI (Therapeutic Crisis Intervention) certified direct care workers – who provide a safe and active residential experience.
The elements of care and treatment at the ITU include the use of applicable evidence-based practices and treatment modalities such as:
1. Trauma-informed care and treatment (Ricky Greenwald, PsyD., The Trauma Institute and The Child Trauma Institute)
2. Collaborative Problem Solving model (Ross Greene, PhD, The Collaborative Problem Solving Institute, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital)
3. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (based on the work of Marsha Linehan, PhD, The Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics, University of Washington)
4. The Building Bridges Initiative (A collaborative approach of working with families to keep students connected to their home communities and resources.)
For twenty years the Brookside Intensive Treatment Unit has been recognized by families, school districts and child protective agencies through out the Northeast for providing services for the most acute students – breaking the cycle of rehospitalization and offering hope for a successful return to their home communities.