Residential Treatment Program

Other Programs: Day Treatment | Virtual Outpatient | Intensive In-Home | Community Intervention


Hillside’s Residential Program
offers comprehensive residential treatment for young people whose behaviors and symptoms have not been able to be managed at a lower level of care or in the community. As the first residential treatment program to become a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Program in the country, Hillside offers specialized treatment protocols for clients ages 11-17 in a 24/7 supervised and structured environment in Atlanta, Georgia.

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The typical clients on our residential campus are children and adolescents, ages 11 to 17, who have a primary psychiatric diagnosis and struggle to function in the regular home/community setting. Licensed as a Residential Mental Health Facility, Hillside’s residential program has the ability to serve clients up to age 21. Clients ages 18-21 or clients who will turn 18 during treatment must still be working towards a high school diploma and either under parent’s guardianship or consent to be in treatment. Our residential program provides a therapeutic environment for students in fifth grade through high school during the school year. Our clients are still dependent on parents or caregivers in a family and not yet living independently.

Hillside specializes in working with clinically complex clients. Most residential clients have been hospitalized in short-term acute inpatient psychiatric hospitals multiple times and have not been able to stabilize or maintain safety in lower levels of care. Residential treatment clients have struggled with mental health challenges, severe depression, anxiety disorders, chronic suicidal ideation, borderline personality traits/disorder, chronic self-harming behaviors, over-controlled/perfectionism, severe emotion dysregulation and mood disorders.

Clients and families will work with a multidisciplinary team consisting of Board-Certified Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, Masters-level Licensed Therapists, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist®, and certified teachers.

Clients live on campus in a 24/7 supervised and structured therapeutic setting that are specific to age, gender, and symptom acuity. The average length of stay as covered by insurance is approximately 8 weeks. Clients are enrolled into full-time school and attend classes on campus from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. during the school year and engage in academic enrichment program in the summer. DBT Core Skills training is a part of the school schedule from 11 a.m. – noon. Clients engage in individual therapy, family therapy, DBT skills training, experiential therapy, and receive psychiatric medication management. After school hours, client engages in therapeutic groups such as recreational therapy, horticulture therapy, Social Emotional Ethical (SEE) Learning, Advanced Experiential DBT groups, Interpersonal Skills groups, Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT®), etc.  Parents are engaged in family therapy weekly as well as the Caregiver DBT groups on Tuesdays 4:00-5:30 p.m. and Family Psychoeducation sessions every other Friday via Zoom.

Our treatment modalities include Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychiatric medication management, individual therapy, family therapy, groups. Theraplay ® and Radically-Opened DBT (RO-DBT) are offered as clinically indicated.

Q: Do you take insurance?

A: Residential treatment at Hillside is in-network with all major insurance plans including Tricare and Kaiser Permanente. We are also able to work with GA Medicaid (Amerigroup, CareSource, PeachState) and some out-of-state Medicaid through a single case agreement.

Q: What is the family involvement during treatment?

A: Parents are engaged in family therapy weekly as well as the Caregiver DBT groups on Tuesdays 4:00-5:30 p.m. and Family Psychoeducation session every other Friday via Zoom. Visitation takes place every weekend and families are encouraged to visit in-person at least twice a month. All visitation will take place in the Dining Hall, behind the Dining Hall on the patio or in the Pavilion adjacent to the Dining Hall.  Therapeutic home passes are incorporated into treatment, especially as clients become more stable and are preparing for discharge.

Q: What about School?

A: Clients are enrolled into full-time school and attend classes on campus from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. during the school year. Hillside’s Conant School is part of Atlanta Public School and is also independently accredited through Cognia. Learn more about our Conant School below.

The Hillside Conant School is a place of encouragement and enthusiasm. It houses 12 state of the art classrooms with specialized media teaching tools such as Promethean Boards and Google Chromebooks and the Dorothy Cohen Library. Our school is accredited by AdvancEd and is part of the Atlanta Public School system through the Georgia Department of Education.

We have 12 certified and highly qualified Special Education and General Education teachers who are here to use their creative teaching methods and behavioral expertise. Many children enrolled at our school are entering the program at grade levels lower than expected due to their individual previous situations, environments, and behaviors. Our teachers face the challenge of remediating their skill gaps and encouraging them to move forward with their education. We also serve many students working at advanced levels and dual enrollments. We use the blended learning model to meet the needs of all students. Speech/Language and Occupational Therapy are provided through Atlanta Public Schools.

What to Expect at Conant

Upon admission into our program, you should have supplied the school with your child’s school records, IEP, eligibility reports, and all Psychological Testing. All Georgia children attending our school are actually enrolled into Atlanta Public Schools upon admission to Hillside for treatment. We are a fully accredited school which will result in your child receiving credits for the coursework they complete during their stay. Students coming from other states will be served as private school students.

Hillside is compliant with IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Section 504 which are designed to provide students with disabilities appropriate educational services designed to meet the individual needs of the student to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities.

Hillside Conant School Food Program

At Hillside’s Conant School, we are committed to our students’ health and wellness. Research shows that healthy students are better able to pay attention in class and better positioned to succeed in school and in life.   Click here to review our Campus Wellness Policy.  On a triennial basis, Hillside is required to assess our Wellness Policy.  The most recent assessment can be found here.

The goals of our food program are to:

  • Support the academic success and achievement of our students
  • Provide nutritious meals at no charge which allow students to maintain focus   
  • Provide healthy and fresh food offerings along with education on making healthy choices
  • Expose our students to new culinary experiences while still offering “kid favorites”

Student Meals at No Charge

ALL Hillside Conant School students are provided healthy, nutritious meals at no charge including breakfast and lunch through the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. 

We are pleased to be partnering with Sage Dining Services who will be supplying meals for our school.  Meals are planned with student preferences in mind and follow the regulations of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program.  

Periodically Hillside is required by USDA regulations to bid out our Food Services Management Company (FSMC) contract.  A copy of the RFP can be found here.

Healthy School Meals contain:

  • Lean protein
  • Whole grains
  • Fresh Fruits or 100% Fruit Juice
  • A variety of vegetables
  • A choice of milk

Meals are calorie-controlled, low in sodium, and contain less than 10% saturated fat and 0g of trans fat. 

During the summer families can access free meals for kids and teens.  This program is open to all children, 18 and younger.  No enrollment, no cost.  See below for more information:

Discrimination Information

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

Discrimination Complaints

To file a program complaint of discrimination related to food, dietary, or nutrition services, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

How to Know If Conant Is Right for Your Child

Children and teens who are struggling with behavioral and emotional issues often find it hard to succeed in traditional schools. Their inability to follow the rules or conform to social norms can hinder their development in a traditional school setting, and it can hold them back academically.

Teenagers, especially, may struggle with conformity. They want to fit in with their peers, and when they don’t, it can be devastating to their self-esteem. A lack of self-confidence can exacerbate the symptoms of mental health issues in kids and trigger a negative spiral.

Conant is a school specially designed for children who are facing mental health challenges and may have difficulty reaching their true potential in their previous academic setting. It provides them with a safe place to grow and learn in the context of teachers and other students who understand them. At Conant, your child will truly be surrounded by their peers.

Through structure, routine, academic support and integration with a residential therapy program, Conant can help your child become his or her best. The life skills your child will learn at Conant can form the basis of a fulfilling future, both academically and socially.

Dr. Christina Kennedy, our Education Director, is happy to share our school’s vision, School Improvement Plan, and Parental Involvement Policy with you upon request. Click here to access Hillside’s Conant School site for additional information.

Contact Information

Principal – Dr. Christina Kennedy, (404) 875-4551 ext. 254 |  ckennedy@hside.org

Assistant Principal – Marisa McClendon, (404) 875-4551 ext. 364 |  mmclendon@hside.org

Transition Coordinator – Cameryn Rivers, (404) 875-4551 ext. 255 |  crivers@hside.org

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