Harmony Hill School is a private, non-profit, residential mental health facility, with an on-campus school that has been serving Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut since 1976. We provide specialized programming and services to biological males 13 to 18 years of age with social, emotional, and behavioral and learning challenges within a safe campus and community environment. We are open 365 days a year for our youth and their families, available to serve them 24/7. We provide services to youth with a wide variety of social and emotional issues including spectrum disorder. Sadly, we also serve many youth who have experienced some of life’s saddest and most harsh situations, including physical and sexual abuse. Nationally accredited since 2001 by the Council on Accreditation (COA) a nonprofit accreditor of human services, our families can be assured of our commitment to high standards in both treatment and organizational practices. The Rhode Island Department for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) licenses our residential programs, and we hold a Private and Special Education license from the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for grades K – 12.
TRAUMA INFORMED MILIEU
With an understanding of the impact of trauma on children and adolescents, our staff members are well guided in their interactions and interventions with clients. We provide our services using the recovery model as a framework for all interactions with youth and family.
Most Harmony Hill residents need help developing adaptive social and coping skills relevant to his place in treatment. Using collaborative problem-solving methods to develop these critical life-skills helps all children and adolescents feel competent. Each begins to understand he is not the problem, but in fact has the internal solutions and is a valuable, capable individual. Developing and internalizing these skills helps our students transfer what is learned to all environments, helping him not just for the moment, but for a lifetime. The Collaborative Problem Solving ™ Model by Stuart Ablon, PhD and Ross Greene, PhD, guides our daily interactions. All youth care and education staff are formally trained in this model, which supports our belief that all children and adolescents “do well if they can”™ and that behavior is the clue, not the problem. A train-the-trainer model, we have invested significant energy and resources to ensure we have ample trainers working in our dormitories and classrooms who reinforce formal training on a daily basis.
Integrated and structured, our goal in careful design and assessment of life, social and coping skill lessons is helping children and adolescents develop competency through experiential learning. Our ‘comps,’ as residents say, require mastery as assessed by all disciplines, before the higher level skill is introduced. In this structure residents become proficient and learn proper skill development.
Student participation in various enriching activities is an important element of holistic treatment. Exposing children and adolescents to new experiences in arts, music, athletics, horticulture and vocations helps develop talent and avenues for expression, while identifying new strengths. Participation is not based on traditional factors such as academic grades or behavior, but instead is viewed as an integral and necessary component of treatment. This model helps residents self-motivate, prioritize and improves noncompliance related to oppositional behavior. Some experiences to date have include inter-costal prep league basketball, golf lessons, guitar and trumpet lessons, meditation, state-level wrestling and restoration of a classic car.
Developing professional, respectful relationships with clients and families is critical to establishing an environment in which individuals can safely work on focal treatment goals. Unconditional support, through both set-backs and successes, is naturally provided in this respectful environment. Helping our students develop respect for self and others further strengthens the safe environment in which to heal.
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Harmony Hill School does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, sexual-identity or socio-economic status in the admission process or in any school administered programming.