Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF)


The Short Term Acute Residential Treatment Program (START) is a psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF) for boys and girls ages 7-16 years who are challenged by complex psychiatric symptoms and self-defeating behaviors.  All services are strength-based, family-centered, trauma informed and utilize a relational and restorative approach.

START is designed to help the youth transition from the hospital to their homes.  The program is also successful in helping youth improve their behaviors and avoid the need for a hospital admission.

Youth are enrolled in START for 90-120 days and receive:

      • Individual, family and group therapies
      • Psychiatric evaluations
      • Therapeutic recreation
      • Community based activities
      • Sensory room
      • 24 hours nursing clinic
      • Educational services onsite at Whitney Hall School


There are a few ways to be referred to START:

      1. If hospitalized already, a clinical staff member from the hospital can begin the process by completing the PRTF referral form on the Beacon Health Options website at:
      2. Community mental health providers or DCF Social Workers can follow #1 (above) for youth
      3. Parents or guardians can also refer their children by following #1 (above) or by calling 1-877-552-8247


Jessica Klouda  203-248-2116 Ext. 334


When Mikey arrived at START he hid behind his mom.  He tried to avoid the staff and other kids at START.  He was also avoiding school and had been absent for months.  By the time Mikey completed START, he made several new friends, earned lots of awards for positive behavior and attended school willingly every day.  Watching Mikey grow, as he did in a relatively short period of time, was rewarding for him, his family and everyone in START.  Good luck, Mikey!